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9-year-old Mumbai boy falls into open manhole, yet to be found

Heavy rains, waterlogged roads and an open manhole provided the perfect recipe for disaster in Kandivli (West) yesterday. Nine-year-old Rounak Singh, who was returning home from his tuitions, slipped and fell into a drain.


The open manhole through which Rounak slipped and fell at Thakur Village in Kandivli. Pic/Vishal Yadav

A fire brigade team reached the spot within minutes and started a rescue operation. They searched in vain for the boy, but he was nowhere to be found. The drain, which eventually meets the Poisar nulla was being searched by the fire brigade officials at the time of going to press. Rounak didn’t see the open manhole, which had been kept open for easy drainage of floodwater, and fell into the nullah underneath. Usually, BMC positions a red metal frame next to open manholes to alert pedestrians. This was absent.

“The officials are looking for it but nothing seems to have worked out. We are still in search of the body, as there is no chance that he is still alive,” said Deepu Singh, Rounak’s father. “We are doing whatever we can. A team from BMC, along with the fire brigade, is still searching, but nothing has worked so far,” said V Mote, assistant municipal commissioner, R-South ward.

Choppy Powai lake claims 5-yr-old
The rains also claimed the life of a five-year-old boy in Powai. The tragic incident occurred at 1.20 pm, when the victim Omkar K Gurav had accompanied his family to Babasaheb Ambedkar Udyan, which shares its boundary wall with Powai Lake.

The boy was playing close to the water, and even though his aunt was holding on to his hand, the strong currents pulled him in. The fire brigade was called to the spot and reached in 15 minutes. But the rescue team could not carry out their operations owing to the choppy waters of the lake. Fire officials said that they would have to wait till the waters receded for the body to float up. Police officials were deployed at the spot and sealed the area.

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