The tragedy at the Mumbra Retibunder, where two minors are feared to have drowned earlier this week, could have been a bigger one had it not been averted in the nick of time, the police investigations have revealed.
On Monday afternoon, four teenagers from the Parsik area in Mumbra had gone for a swim in the Retibunder creek. Two of them, Sagar Gaikwad (13) and Saksham Ingle (14), went in too deep and were swept away in the strong water current. The other two, Harshal Gade (14) and Shahbaz Sheikh (12), returned home but were too scared to tell anyone about the tragedy. They only revealed the truth when confronted by the Mumbra police.
Investigating officials said that Shahbaz, too, very nearly drowned in the water while trying to save Sagar and Saksham.
“The two missing boys had tied pieces of thermocol to their bodies and were swimming in the Retibunder when they got caught in the current. Shahbaz saw this and tried to go after them to try and save them. However, Harshal caught Shahbaz’s hand and pulled him back before he, too, could get swept away,” police sub-inspector Pradeep Gaikwad, Mumbra police station, said.
After the parents of the two missing boys approached the police, the investigating team examined CCTV footage, which showed the four boys going towards Retibunder, but only Shahbaz and Harshal were seen returning. The two survivors were subsequently quizzed and they confessed the truth, after which a search operation was mounted on Tuesday morning.
The search for Sagar and Saksham entered its fourth day on Friday but still yielded no results. The coordinated search operation is being conducted from morning till sun-down jointly by the police, the Regional Disaster Management Cell of the Thane Municipal Corporation, the Thane Disaster Response Force and local residents.
“We have searched the creek all the way till Kasheli, Ghodbunder and Kasar Wadavli but have found nothing yet. On Friday, we conducted the search till 1pm, after which high tide started and we called it off for safety reasons. The search will resume on Saturday,” Gaikwad said.
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