One picnicker lost his life while 106 others were rescued from the Chinchoti waterfall in Vasai, where weekend revellers were stranded due to torrential rainfall on Saturday.
Vasai police officials said two to three groups of people had come from Mumbai to spend the weekend at the popular picnic spot in the Tungareshwar forest, and were stranded when water levels started rising due to the incessant rain on Saturday. As the flooding continued, people began climbing on trees to save themselves, and some of them called the Palghar police control room.
Information was relayed to all concerned agencies, including the Palghar Fire Brigade, and several teams were rushed to the spot. Rescue operations began within the hour with the help of local fishermen. Around an hour later, after realising that over 100 people were stranded and the water levels were still rising, the Palghar police reached out to the National Disaster Response Force, and a team was sent to assist with the rescue efforts.
“After over four hours of sustained rescue operations, which were conducted in collaboration with all concerned agencies and locals, we rescued a total of 106 people from the area and brought them to safety. We also pulled out a body from the water, which was identified as that of Bhavesh Gupta, a resident of Kandivali in Mumbai, who had come to spend the weekend at the waterfall with his friends,” Superintendent of Police (Palghar) Manjunath Singe said. Mr. Singe added that by late Saturday night, all the revellers were accounted for and the operation was called off.
Officers said that 26 of the 106 people who were rescued were stuck in ‘danger zones’, high risk areas with a history of fatalities, and rescuing them took the longest period of time. The police have registered an Accidental Death Report in connection with Mr. Gupta’s death, and his body will be handed over to his family after post mortem examination at the municipal hospital in Vasai, officials said.