There was high drama on the Kotturpuram Bridge on Thursday morning after a man in his thirties jumped into the Adyar river, with two women calling out to him.
Rescue agencies, despite a search throughout the day, were unable to retrieve his body.
Sources said that the man, who is yet to be identified, ran off the road around 9:30 am, with two women running after him.
Within seconds, he scaled the railings of the bridge and jumped into the river.
Passersby made vain attempts to rescue the man, with some motorists even lowering a helmet tied to a telephone wire. “He refused our help and eventually drowned,” said Prashant, a passerby.
Meanwhile, personnel from the Emergency Rescue Centre (ERC) at Guindy and the Saidapet Fire Station were pressed into service to recover the body.
The team attempted to retrieve the body by throwing hooks into the river, from 9:30 am till late evening.
Pointing out that recovery in this part of the river, which is at least 30 feet deep, is an onerous task, Rescue Officer of ERC Guindy, Ravi Chandran, said: “It is not advisable to get into the river for recovering a body unless it is a life-and-death situation, the reason being quick water-flow, which is along east and quite rapid.
“However, we have recovered many bodies after complicated efforts made to rescue them.”
Stating that they had not attempted any recovery operations for this long, he suspected that the body could have got stuck in the slush.
“We expect the body to surface tomorrow.”
Vendors Make Hay
Meanwhile, the bridge turned into a picnic spot with snack vendors, including panipuri sellers, having a field day, thanks to the large number of curious onlookers who gathered there.
Curious motorists stopped by to have a look at the rescue operations. The vehicles parked in the narrow bridge led to traffic snarls, affecting the movement of heavy vehicles such as water-tankers. A vendor, who normally sells panipuri near a school, sensed the opportunity and made the maximum out of it.