Facebook ‘live’ selfies claim eight in Maharashtra

Nagpur (Maharashtra): Eight youths who were clicking selfies and uploading them live on Facebook, drowned when their boat capsized on the Vena Lake near here, officials said on Monday.

Till this evening, police have recovered six bodies of the youngsters, while three including one of the two boatmen, managed to swim safely to the lake bank.

The incident occurred when the youths went on a boat joyride on the picturesque Vena lake, on the outskirts of the state’s second capital.

Nagpur Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, who rushed to the site on Monday morning and supervised the rescue operations, said the small boat carried 11 persons, including the boatmen, when the tragedy struck late on Sunday.

“According to information available, the youths were clicking selfies on their mobiles when the tragedy occurred,” Bawankule told the media. He appealed to people not to indulge in such activities (clicking selfies) to prevent similar tragedies.

The police said that while clicking selfies, the youngsters were allegedly moving around, changing their positions and one was giving different poses, which may have caused the boat to rock, lose balance and capsize.

Two youths and a boatman managed to swim to the shore while two bodies were recovered from the lake waters earlier on Monday morning, the official said.

Later in the afternoon, four more bodies were recovered and a hunt was on to trace the remaining two missing bodies.

The local police and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF), fire brigade and surrounding villagers were engaged in the rescue operations at the Vena Lake, a popular picnic spot 22 kms from Nagpur, officials said.

The victims have been identified as Rahul Jadhav, Ankit A. Bhoskar, Paresh Katoke, Pankaj Doiphode, Roshan G. Khandare, Akshay M. Khandare, Pratik Amde and Atul Bhoir.

Two brothers — Amol M. Dodke and Roshan M. Dodke — and one of the boatmen Atul G. Bavne, swam to the lake bank and survived. (IANS)

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