Pune/Mumbai: The body of a student, who drowned along with 13 of his colleagues out on a picnic, was today recovered from the Arabian Sea off Murud beach in Raigad district even as initial information suggested that the tragedy struck when 10 students formed a human chain to save
four drowning campus mates and ended up meeting a watery grave.
A defence spokesperson said the body was recovered this morning. The bodies of 13 students were recovered yesterday itself in searches conducted by the Navy and the Coast Guard.
"We have received information that the body of Madaki Saif Ahmed has been recovered. His parents had rushed to the spot and after the post mortem, the body will be brought back to Pune ," said P A Inamdar, president of Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society, which runs the Abeda Inamdar Senior College in Pune where the students were studying.
Hundreds of relatives and friends of the deceased, meanwhile, gathered at various burial grounds and crematoriums in Pune for their last rites.
Fourteen students, including 10 girls, aged between 18 and 20, had drowned in the sea at Murud yesterday afternoon.
"As per the primary information received from the spot, some three to four students, who went ahead inside the water, started drowning. As other students saw them, some ten students, formed a human chain and they too ventured into the sea and drowned along with their campus mates," Inamdar said.
He said the college would initiate an inquiry to find out if there was any negligence on the part of the faculty members who accompanied the students on the picnic. The picnickers were accompanied by around ten staff members, including teachers, college authorities said.
"We have sent our trustees and teachers to meet the families who lost their children in the tragic incident. We are ensuring them complete support in this situation," Inamdar said.
Meanwhile, the college declared a holiday today to pay homage to the deceased students. Maharashtra has announced Rs two lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.