The deceased siblings Abdul Aziz (12), and eight-year-old twins Abdul Karim and Abdul Rahim were playing cricket on the banks of the river around 1.30 pm when Rahim accidentally lost his footing and fell into the water-filled ditch and started drowning. In order to save him, his elder brother Aziz entered the waters. However, he too began to go under. Karim too then dived in, and also lost his life. Their fourth sibling Abdul Haq — Aziz’s twin — who was also playing with them, gauged the depth of the water and ran out to call his parents at their house nearby. However, till the time help could reach, all the three children had drowned.
Locals alleged that a contractor, instead of sourcing water from a tanker for use at the site for erecting a boundary wall alongside the river, had dug up the deep trench and filled it with water from Mithi. “Apart from digging up a trench to source water, the contractor has put up no partitions, nets or security guards at the place as safety measures,” said Abdullah Chaudhary, the father of the deceased.
Police inspector R Jadhav from Kurla said, “We have booked the contractor of the site Shyam Narayan under section 304 A (causing death due to negligence) for not having enough safety measures around the 15-ft trench. We will arrest him soon.” Laxman Vhatkar, Chief Engineer, storm water drain, BMC said, “The trench was dug up not for sourcing water but to accommodate the pumped out water. If barricades were not installed and security guards were not employed by the contractor, the BMC shall investigate and if found guilty, the contractor will be fined.”