BANGALORE: A nine-year-old girl was washed away in a stormwater drain at Bilekahalli on Bannerghatta Road on Monday.
Fire and emergency services personnel searched along a 2 km length in the drain, but could not find her. The operation continued into the night, with no news of the girl emerging even by 1 am.
Around 8.10 pm, an eyewitness reported that a girl walking with her aunt had slipped and fallen into the drain, which was overflowing after heavy showers.
The girl was identified as Geethalakshmi, a native of Tamil Nadu, who lived with her parents at Doresanipalya on Bannerghatta Road.
A rescue team of 15 reached the spot and started searching for the girl.
Meanwhile, BBMP engineer Ravi blamed the girl’s aunt, saying she had been talking over the phone when the mishap occurred.
A senior emergency services officer said the slabs on the drainage had given way, with no maintenance from the BBMP. However, Mayor Shanthalakshmi, who visited the spot, said private construction workers had removed the slabs, leaving a gaping hole.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana and MLA Satish Reddy rushed to the spot and supervised the search. Reddy promised relief after the fate of the girl was known.
Reema, who lives in the neighbourhood, told Express a two-year-old boy had fallen into the drain at the same spot two weeks ago.
A passerby had rescued him and called his mother Gowramma, a daily wager working at a construction site. Engineers and BBMP officials have not maintained the drainage properly, and it is the duty of the MLA and municipal councillor to inspect their constituency and get work done, she said.
September 16, 2009: Vijay, an 18-month-old son of migrant labourers, was washed away from Royal Residency Layout near Madiwala Lake
May 14, 2011: Arvind Kumar (12) fell into a stormwater drain in a slum near Deepanjalinagar on Mysore Road. He was playing with two friends when he noticed a ball floating by. He tried to pick it up and was washed away. Arvind’s father Hanumanthappa is a weaver in Cubbonpet and mother, Devamma, a daily wage labourer
May 31, 2009: Abhishek Prakash (6) fell into an uncovered drain flooded with rain water at Lingarajapuram. His body was not traced, despite efforts by the Army, which joined the search