Koraput/Dashamantapur: In a tragic incident, four minors were drowned in a large rainwater-filled pit dug up on roadside construction at Majhiguda village under Dashamantapur block and Sadar police limits in Koraput district, Thursday afternoon.
The deceased includes three girls and a boy. They were identified as Bimala Shuki (six), and Raita Shuki (four), daughters of Samra Shuki, Purni Antar (five), daughter of Sunia Antar and Madhusudan Hantal, (six), son of Rabi Hantal in the village. A pall of gloom descended in the area after reports of the deaths spread.
Reports said that road construction works were taken up in Majhiguda village under Bharatmala project for which the consultancy agency had dug up pits. The pits got filled to the brim and took the shape of pools due to the heavy monsoon rainfall which lashed the area, Wednesday.
The four minor had been to the area to take their baths when they accidentally slipped into the pool and drowned one after another.
On learning about the incident, villagers and fire personnel from Koraput rushed to the spot and brought out the lifeless bodies of the children from the pit.
However, suspecting that the children might be alive, villagers rushed them to the local hospital where the doctors pronounced them brought dead. On being informed, SDPO Manoj Pujari and Sadar police personnel rushed to the spot and launched a probe into the incident.
Some villagers alleged that the incident is the result of the negligence of the consultancy agency which after digging up the pits for road construction under Bharatmala project failed to fill them up with sand or soil. They also did not put up signboards in front of the pits as a warning. The negligence of the contractor has drawn flak from various quarters.