At least eight people were swept away while bathing in Sultangarh waterfall in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. Over 40 others got stranded as there was a sudden surge in the water level at the fall.
Teams of police, BSF, state disaster relief force (SDRF) and Indian Navy personnel were deployed immediately in the search and rescue operations following the incident. A senior police official confirmed that seven people had been rescued while 34 others remained stranded.
Inspector General of Gwalior range, Anshuman Yadav, said, “A total of seven people have been rescued till now while 34 people are still stranded. SDRF and police teams are on the spot.”
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also rushed to the spot as the news came in. He took stock of the situation. Speaking to news agency ANI and other mediapersons, he said, “They came here for picnic. Suddenly the water level increased and they were left stranded. Teams of Police, BSF, SDRF and Navy were deployed immediately to rescue them.”
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister also approached the central government to seek help in the rescue operations. He spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, asking them to help in the rescue and search operations.
A helicopter, in its first sortie, rescued five persons who were stranded on a rock in the water downstream, while two more were saved by local people, confirmed Superintendent of Police Rajesh Hingankar.
The waterfall is near Mohana village, 55 km from the district headquarters, in an area bordering Gwalior district. Tourists had thronged the place on Wednesday due to the Independence Day holiday. There was a sudden surge in water around 4.30 pm, possibly due to heavy rain upstream, catching those bathing in the waterfall unawares, police said quoting the locals.
(With agency inputs)