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7-yr-old falls into open drain in Surat, body found 750m away in bushes near river Tapi

A total of 15 divers, 15 police officers and more than 20 firefighters were involved in the search and rescue operation of the boy.

Surat: A seven-year-old’s body was found in the bushes on the banks of river Tapi five hours after he fell into an open drain on a street in Nana Varacha, Surat, on Sunday afternoon.

Rohan Mali

A total of 15 divers, 15 police officers and more than 20 firefighters were involved in the search and rescue operation of the boy, whose body was found 705 metres away from where he fell.

The currents took the body of Ramesh Mali’s son, Rohan, further down the drainage network.

The incident

Rohan was playing with four of his school friends on a street about 100 metres away from his home. He was throwing pieces of thermocol in an open storm drain to watch them float when he fell in it.

His friends panicked and began shouting for help. The people at the spot reported the incident to the fire brigade at 2:50 pm and the rescue efforts, which began at 3 pm continued till 5 pm.

The rescue operation

With the arrival of the rescue team, the drainage network maps were consulted and the search operation began. Two officers, equipped with oxygen masks and cylinders entered the drain.

On the other side, two other officers entered the drainage line that ended in Tapi river. When the effort was unsuccessful, divers were called to search for the body.

Rohan’s body was finally found in the bushes on the banks of river Tapi.

Blame game

The city municipal corporation (MC) shifted the blame for the negligence that led to Rohan’s death on local shopkeepers. After a CCTV footage showed that the area was waterlogged on the day of the accident, the MC officials said that the lid of the storm drainage was removed by local shopkeepers as the flooded road was affecting their business.

Locals said that waterlogging is a recurrent problem in the area and the MC officials are aware about the situation but do nothing about it.

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