2 college kids from Thane drown in dam during picnic

The duo ventured deeper into the Pise dam, where a group of nine had gone for a picnic; it took 4 hours to fish out their bodies

A fun-filled outing for nine friends ended in tragedy after two of them drowned while swimming in the Pise dam on Tuesday afternoon. The deceased were identified as Ankit Singh (17) and Ashutosh Chavan (17), both residents of Bhiwandi. Both the teenagers were students of Laxman Devram Sonavane College of Arts and Commerce in Kalyan.

Ankit Singh and Ashutosh Chavan, both residents of Bhiwandi, were the students of L D Sonavane College
Ankit Singh and Ashutosh Chavan, both residents of Bhiwandi, were the students of L D Sonavane College

Their seven friends were identified as Shubham Verma and Avesh Khan from Sonavane college, Pratik Chaturvedi from R K Talreja College, Jaiyanti Chaudhary and Yash Vaite from Agarwal College and Shreya Londhe and Samati Tompe from Birla College.

Speaking to mid-day, Shubham Verma said it was a collective decision to go for a picnic to Khandeshwari Mandir followed by Pise dam. “We left at 1 pm from our homes and had lunch together after visiting the mandir. We then decided to go for a swim at the dam. We had been planning this picnic for quite some time, but kept deferring it due to cash crunch.”

He added that all the boys entered the dam for a swim at around 2.30 pm. “Our friends, who were outside, clicked our pictures. Ashutosh and Ankit ventured further into the dam and failed to gauge its depth. Unable to swim back, they started screaming for help. We could see them moving their arms frantically,” Verma said.

Upon realising that the water was too deep for any of them to swim over and help the duo, all seven friends started shouting for help.

“A villager rushed to our aid. He did jump into the water, but couldn’t save them,” said Verma.

Vijay Patil, the villager who rushed to help the teenagers, said, “I jumped into the water hoping to save the boys, but to no avail.”

Constable Anil Rathod from Titwala police station said a local called and informed the police about the accident. “We immediately informed the fire brigade. Even the firemen came out empty-handed. Finally, we handed over underwater breathing apparatus to the locals so that they could search deeper. It took four hours to pull the boys out of the water, following which they were rushed to Rukmani Bai hospital in Kalyan. However, doctors declared them dead on arrival and ascertained drowning as the cause of death,” he added.

Recent tragedy
On February 1, 14 students of Pune's Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society's Abeda Inamdar College lost their lives at Murd beach after they were swept away by a huge wave while they were busy clicking selfies. A total of 116 students from First, Second and Third-year BSc (Computer Science), along with 11 faculty members, had gone to Murud for a picnic.  

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