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I Regret I Could Not Save Even One: Says Survivor Of Balasore River Tragedy

Balasore: “The trauma of losing my bosom friends before my eyes will hunt me throughout my life,” cried Ranjana Sala, one of the two youths who survived the terrible tragedy at Kathasingeda River Remuna in Balasore on Tuesday.

The mishap occurred when five young friends were caught in the strong currents while taking bath in the river. While two of them managed to swim to the banks, the bodies of three more were fished out later.

“I regret why I could not save even one,” Sala said.

Narrating the sequence of the events leading to the mishap, Sala said, “After finishing breakfast we went for bathing in the river. While four of my friends were taking bath, I was busy shooting their video on my mobile phone. But suddenly three of them–Ankit, Mrutyunjay and Piyush– slipped off and lost their balance.  None of them knew swimming,” he recollected.

“On hearing their shouts for help I threw myself into the water for their rescue. Though I know swimming, I couldn’t pull them out despite my best efforts,” he said adding that the other friend stood helplessly as he didn’t know swimming.

Sala said he too shouted for help from some others who were present nearby. But it was too late.

“Few villagers and boatmen rushed to help us. But by then, my three friends had been swept away by the strong currents,” he added.

On being informed, a team of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) from Balasore rushed to the spot and carried out a search operation. They managed to retrieve the three bodies.

Sala meanwhile said the terrible loss of his friends before his eyes will be etched permanently in his mind.

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