A team of expert divers from the Indian Navy in Karwar will join the search operations today
As many as 13 persons are suspected to have drowned when a coracle overturned in the Tungabhadra river near Hadonahalli during the immersion of the Ganesh idol on Wednesday.
The bodies of seven victims — Manjappa (35), Veerabhadra (28), Shivakumar (22), Veeresh (20), Jeevan (21), Ganesh (21), and Ramesh (23) were recovered by divers from Harihar town and the Fire and Emergency Services personnel.
The bodies of the six other victims — Nayan, Shankar, Gangesh, Chandrappa, Sagar and Ramesh are yet to be traced.
All the victims, aged between 20 and 35, were residents of Hadonahalli. Jeevan and Ganesh were students of a private engineering college in Shivamogga, while Manjappa and Chandrappa were married and have two children each.
The incident took place at around 1 p.m. According to Sharanappa, an eyewitness, 22 youth ventured into the river to immerse the idol. When the coracle reached the centre of the river where the water current was strong, it overturned. Nine of them jumped off and swam to safety.
Superintendent of Police Abhinav Khare told presspersons that overloading of the coracle resulted in the accident. He said a team of expert divers from the Indian Navy in Karwar will join the search operations on Thursday.
Wednesday’s search operations were suspended in the evening and it would start at first light on Thursday, he added.
As the news of the tragedy spread, relatives of the victims and neighbouring villagers thronged the banks of the river.
Police personnel had a difficult time managing the crowd. Deputy Commissioner V.P. Ikkeri supervised the search operations.