Four women travelling in a car drowned after their vehicle plunged into a canal at Gamanahalli village in Srirangapatana taluk of Mandya district.
The accident took place on Saturday night and the deceased were identified as Mahadevamma (40), Rekha (28), Mamatha (30) and Sanjana (15). All four women belonged to the same family. The driver of the car identified as Manju, son of Mahadevamma, survived the accident and swam to safety. While three are from Goravanahalli village, Mahadevamma is from Gamanahalli.
The accident took place when the four women were traveling to Doddamalagodu to invite relatives for a function and it is suspected that the vehicle veered out of control and fell into the Visvesvaraya Canal.
Minister for Agriculture Cheluvarayaswamy, who is also in-charge of Mandya district, on Sunday visited the Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital where the bodies of the deceased were kept for postmortem and commiserated with the grieving family members. Minister for Social Welfare H.C. Mahadevappa also visited the spot and announced ex-gratia as some of the victims were from T. Narsipura taluk.
The local community highlighted the absence of a safety rail or retaining wall along the canal bund abutting the lake.
Mr. Cheluvarayaswamy later said it was imperative to identify accident-prone zones and spots along the canals to prevent such accidents in the future. He said the police have been instructed to identify such spots and take suitable measures. Arakere police have registered a case and are investigating.