Woman drowns in car after it gets stuck in flooded Bengaluru underpass
A 22-year-old techie drowned after the car in which she was travelling got stuck in a flooded underpass in India's southwestern city of Bengaluru in Karnataka state.
The woman, identified by her first name Bhanurekha, was touring with her family on Sunday when the car entered the KR Circle underpass at the centre of Bengaluru city, touted to be India's Silicon Valley.
Fire and emergency services personnel, with the help of locals, pulled out Bhanurekha, five other family members, and the driver. The group was rushed to St Martha's Hospital where the doctors declared the techie dead.
Newly-elected Karnataka chief minister Siddharamaiah visited the hospital and declared an ex-gratia of Rs 500,000 (£4,842) to the kin of the victim.
The family, which belonged to Vijayawada city in Andhra Pradesh state, were travelling in a rented car, touring the city, the chief minister said.
"There was a barricade to prevent people from entering the underpass. But the barricade had fallen over due to rain," he continued.
"The driver could have avoided the underpass. Yet, he entered it."
The driver allegedly tried to zoom through the water, but the car almost got submerged in the middle of the underpass, news agency PTI reported. Due to incessant rain and hailstorm, the water levels rose to the glass of the car, which made opening the doors difficult.
“When they brought her to the hospital, they performed an ECG. She was declared dead at the hospital,” Mr Siddaramaiah said.
The driver, identified by his first name Harish, said the engine turned off within a minute or two of the car getting stuck in the flooded underpass.
“Two vehicles – a car and an auto – had passed through just before we entered the underpass," he was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.
"Another auto driver, who was in front of the car, stopped. If he had gone right behind the two vehicles, then I could have passed too. He waited for a bit and then asked me to go ahead of him."
Separately, a woman passenger reportedly saved her life by climbing on top of a stuck auto and was eventually rescued.