BHUBANESWAR: A 15-year-old boy was swept away by stormwater into an open drain in the State Capital on Sunday afternoon. The minor who has remained untraced even after seven hours of search is feared to have drowned.
The boy was carried into drainage channel no - 8 (A) by the overflowing stormwater in the Satabdi Nagar area of the City. He was reportedly on his way to tuition classes on his bicycle when the incident occurred. At least 30 fire services personnel are carrying out the search. Apart from firefighters, police, and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), locals too have joined the rescue operation. The incident took place at around 2 pm, the boy has been identified as Joyti Prakash Behera of Dhipasahi in Baramunda.
Jyoti Prakash reportedly was swept into the drain and carried away in the current while he was trying to cross a small culvert on his cycle. The culvert had been overtopped by the stormwater following heavy rains. A former corporator from the locality said that Jyoti Prakash who fell into the drain near lane no 7 was last spotted by some of the residents near lane no 10. The locals immediately called for help.
The minor’s cycle and pair of slippers were recovered. However, there has been no trace of him so far, he said.
Jyoti Prakash’s father Hrusikesh Behera and family members are in a state of shock, even as fire service officials continued with the search work. The BMC said the drain was flowing in full capacity after a torrential downpour from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and the road had been overtopped by stormwater.
Due to the high velocity of the stormwater, it was “not safe” to cross the overflowing road, it added.
Open drains in the city have caused a series of deaths, mostly due to drowning, during the monsoon season in the last few years.
A 65-year-old lady had drowned in an open drain near the flooded Ekamra Villa road in 2019, while Hari Patnaik, a resident of Pichupadia Slum in Unit-VI, died after falling into an open drain in August 2018. Two persons of Patia-Chandrasekharpur had also died after they were washed away in a drain during the monsoon in 2017. In 2015, a nine-year-old boy had lost his life after he was swept away in an overflowing drain near Mumtaz Ali High School under Nayapalli police limits.