The Holi celebration claimed as many as 14 lives across the State with 10 of them reported from Bhubaneswar and its outskirts. Most of the victims were college going students who wanted a swim after the day-long revelry.
Six youths went to have a bath in river Bhargavi near Balakati syphon where all of them drowned. The youths allegedly paid no heed to a policeman’s warning and went into the water.
Three bodies were fished out on Thursday while the rest were retrieved by Friday evening.The six have been identified as Jitendra Mallik (25), Sitansu Panda (23), Bhabani Shankar Patnaik (21), Gyana Ranjan Garabadu, Manas Barik (20) and Amit Kumar (21).
Since revellers turn out for bath near the syphon, Assistant Commissioner of Police Dilip Das said a policeman was posted to keep them away. Despite warning, the youths ventured into the water and met watery grave.
The seventh case of death due to drowning was reported from Hirapur Canal in Lingipur area. The deceased was identified as K Santosh Patra. Similarly, a 13-year-old boy, Suman Saha, went with his friend to have a swim in river Kuakhai near Tankapani bridge and was swept away. He belonged to Chintamaniswar area of the City. One Ganesh Sethi drowned in river Daya while a Bengali youth, Tathagat Chakravorty, met watery grave in a pond in Behera Sahi of Nayapalli.
Fire fighters were engaged in rescue operation on Thursday while Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force was mobilised on Friday.
In other parts of the State, similar incidents were also reported. Two persons drowned in Rayagada and Nuapada districts, while two others were swept away in Kendrapara district.
That was not all as Holi saw more casualties. One Jasobant Bhoi died in a road mishap near Pahala on Thursday afternoon. His pillion riders Binod Bhoi and Niranjan Bhoi were seriously injured when a car hit their bike.