Hubballi, January 24: Hubballi taluk witnessed an unfortunate incident of three of five friends who visited the bridge on the Malaprabha Canal in Kiresur on Friday drowning in the canal.
Ironically, the group included an engaged couple and one of the drowned youth was the would-be groom.Sunny Johnson Kallaguntla, 21, son of former Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation member Suvarna Kallaguntla, Josh Clement, 21 and Gajanan Rajashekhar, 21, of Pune, went near the canal, along with Natasha Bhandari of Vidyanagar and Solomon Pillai of Navin Park.
Natasha was engaged to Clement recently and the friends wished to have a photo shoot before their marriage. All of them came to the Kiresur bridge on their motorbikes and were shooting. As the bees attacked them, the friends were forced to take desperate measures, resulting in the said tragedy.
Solomon is said to have run away, the other four friends jumped into the water below. Natasha, who was holding on to a pipe in the canal, was rescued by shepherds nearby, said the Hubballi Rural police, who conducted the investigation.
The police, along with the fire brigade staff, had to put in almost half a day’s effort to find the bodies of the other three friends in the canal waters. The search went on from 12.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Friday, was stalled in the night and resumed at dawn on Saturday. The bodies of Sunny and Gajanan were found near Basapur canal gate in Annigeri on Saturday morning, the police added.
Solomon, who recalled the incident, said that he ran away as far as one kilometre to escape the bees. “I assumed that my friends too were running away from the bridge just as I did. When I turned back to check, I did not see anyone. I rushed back to the bridge and found that three of my friends had drowned and Natasha had been rescued by people who saw her in the water,” he told PV, and added, “I called their families and told them what had happened.”
Sunny had studied ITI and had recently applied for a job with the railways, said Solomon.
So far two bodies have been fished out and still missing.