LUCKNOW: Bodies of seven children who went missing after a pick-up van with 29 persons on board drowned into a canal in Uttar Pradesh has been recovered, District Magistrate Lucknow said on Friday. “The rescue operation is now over,” he added.
The vehicle was returning from a wedding function in Barabanki district when it suddenly lost control and fell into the Indira canal in Nagram area on the outskirts of Lucknow city around 3 AM on Thursday. Twenty-two persons were rescued. However, seven children – five boys and two girls – went missing.
A joint team consisting of troopers from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and local police, along with six divers, recovered the first three bodies of the children after night-long operation, said SP (Gramin). The bodies were recovered 200 metres away from the accident site.
On Friday, the remaining four bodies were recovered. The children – Mansi (1), Manisha (5), Saurabh (8), Sachin (6), Sajan (8), Aman (9) and Sunny (5) – all died due to drowing, added authorites.
A large crowd of onlookers gathered at the site of the accident where parents of some of the missing children accused the driver of the pick-up van of being under the influence of alcohol.
Those travelling in the pick-up van are said to be the residents of Sarai Pandey village under Loni Katra Police Station limits in Barabanki.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took taken cognizance of the incident and directed the officials to make all possible efforts to search and rescue those who have fallen into the canal.