CHENNAI: Five children of two families drowned in pits in Chennai and Kancheepuram within the last 48 hours. Two of them apparently drowned on Monday while the other three on Tuesday.
In one incident, the pit was left uncovered by the Highways Department in Chennai. It became a watery grave for two brothers. Chennai police said Rahul (9) and Jayakumar (6), both siblings of Tirunindravur, went missing after they went to buy things from a public distribution shop in Prakash Nagar on Monday.
As they failed to return home till late in the afternoon, the parents hunted for them in the neighbourhood but in vain. They also filed a complaint with Thirunindravur police at night. On Tuesday, passers-by saw two bodies floating in a pit dug by the Highways Department that had filled with rain water. Sources said the Highways Department had not closed the pit even after their work was completed. The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services fished out the bodies from the pit around 1 pm. The parents identified the siblings at the morgue.
In another incident in Tiruvallur, three children of a couple who worked in a brick kiln in Vellaivedu, Tiruvallur district, drowned in a pit near the kiln.
Tiruvallur police said Vinitha (12), Vishnupriya((7) and Viswa (9), children of Veeran and Boomadevi of Villupuram, were on summer vacation. They were playing around the kiln where about 25 families were camping. The couple realised only in the evening that they were missing. They found all three floating in the pit. The pit was dug to harvest rain water and the children fell into it one after the other, probably in an attempt to save each other. Police moved the bodies to the district GH for autopsy.