Goa: 4 die as vehicle plunges into Zuari, bodies retrieved after 12-hour operations | Goa News – Times of India


PANAJI: Four people died in the early hours of Thursday after the car they were travelling in crashed into the railings of Zuari bridge and plunged into the river. A joint operation conducted by state agencies and the Indian Navy lasted almost 12 hours, and culminated in the vehicle being retrieved past 1pm, with all four bodies still inside.
The four were on their way from Loutolim to Panaji, to celebrate the birthday of one of the occupants. Police said that they had cut a cake before leaving for Panaji for dinner, since restaurants in the village were closed due to the upcoming panchayat elections.
Police said that the driver of the vehicle lost control and it rammed into the bridge’s railings. Anthony Henry Araujo, 46, Priscilla ‘Pupul’ Cruz, 53, Allwyn Harley Araujo, 51, and Austin Fernandes, 37, all four from Loutolim, died in the accident. Police said that it was Allwyn’s birthday on Thursday.
Immediately after the accident, the directorate of fire and emergency services launched a search and rescue operation with three boats from different fire stations. However, the op had to be suspended due to darkness, and restarted in the morning. At 8am, an underwater digital camera located the vehicle. The joint op was conducted by 20 personnel of the state fire services, 15 Navymen, 10 coastal police personnel and 20 Goa police cops.
The accident sent shockwaves across Goa, and a huge crowd gathered on both sides of the river on Thursday morning to witness the search operation.
Thousands more tracked the rescue operations online through the morning. Legislators of neighbouring constituencies too visited the spot.
All four bodies were shifted to Goa Medical College, Bambolim, for postmortem. Police said that doctors have already conducted the autopsy of Priscilla, and the procedure would be done on the remaining three bodies on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Agasaim police station has registered a case under the Motor Vehicles Act. PI Vikram Naik said that there were no eyewitnesses who could tell if the vehicle was speeding or overtaking. He said that a worker on the new Zuari bridge saw the vehicle fall into the water.





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