BENGALURU: A night out for four friends from Bengaluru went terribly wrong after one of them was washed away in the flooding waters during the overnight rain. Autorickshaw driver Santosh (26), a resident of Banashankari, has been missing since he was washed away with the vehicle into a stream near Gantaka Doddi off Kanakapura Main Road around 3am on Wednesday.
The stream saw a heavy gush of water, resembling a swollen river. Even as Fire and Emergency Services personnel carried out search operations, there was no trace of Santosh or his vehicle till late on Wednesday the evening. Locals at Gantakana Doddi explained that the water flow has been so heavy this year that it could sweep away any heavy object.
Police said Santosh was with four other friends when the incident occurred. Of them, two were minor girls, aged 15 and 17. Around 3 am, Santosh and his friend Vijay (19), both residents of Banashankari, were sitting in the auto having a chat. Late in the night, they had visited the Kabbalamma Temple and headed to the road which is across the stream where they thought they would wait till daybreak.
When they realised that the water level started to rise dangerously, Santosh and Vijay asked the girls to wait outside the auto while they took a U-turn. However, just as they tried to turn the auto, it toppled due to the force of the water and was washed away along with Vijay and Santosh.
Night on the tree
Vijay had a miraculous escape after he managed to grab a branch of a tree . “The youth spent the rest of the night atop the tree. He had no phone to contact anyone. After daybreak, he had to scream for help and locals rescued him with the help of ropes,” said a Fire and Emergency Service official at the spot.
Kaggalipura police, who have registered a missing person’s complaint regarding Santosh, said the families of the two boys and the minor girls did not know about the night-out plan and were shocked when they were learnt about it.
Rescue operations marred by rains
Sources in Fire and Emergency Services department said rescue operations had to be suspended as the flow of water was too strong. “This water flows into Arkavathy river. We are searching there as well,” he said.
Kids go to flooded temple
Guruvayurappan temple closeby was also flooded. Shockingly, a group of schoolchildren from Twinklers arrived at the temple to witness the damage caused by the flooding, accompanied by their teachers.