A 22-year-old woman drowned on Sunday after a car she was travelling in with her family got stuck in neck-deep water at KR Circle underpass, just a stone's throw from Vidhana Soudha, the seat of power in Karnataka.
Fire and emergency services personnel saved five others of the family and the driver, with the help of people who had rushed to save those trapped in the flooded underpass in the heart of the city. The victim as well as the others were taken to St Martha's Hospital where doctors declared the woman, identified as Bhanurekha, dead.
Learning about the incident, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rushed to the hospital and took stock of the situation. He announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and free treatment for those admitted in the hospital.
"The family from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh had hired a car and come to see Bengaluru. Bhanurekha works in Infosys. Due to the downpour, the barricade at the underpass fell down and the driver took the risk of crossing the underpass, which he should not have," Siddaramaiah told reporters.
Bhanurekha was 22 years old.
When reporters who were covering the incident complained that doctors refused to treat Bhanurekha, who was alive when she was taken to the hospital, Siddaramaiah said he will get it investigated and initiate action.
According to those present at the spot, the car driver tried to zoom through the water, but in the middle of the underpass the car almost got submerged. The occupants of the vehicle came out frantically trying to save themselves.
Due to the downpour and hailstorm, the water level started increasing. As the family started crying for help, people nearby rushed to their rescue.
They threw sarees and ropes to help them keep afloat. Those entrapped tried to climb up but failed. While two of them were dragged out by swimmers of the emergency services personnel, others were brought out using a ladder.
The survivors were rushed to the hospital where they found Bhanurekha dead. Loud mourning ensued at the hospital when the survivors saw the lifeless body of their family member.
An autorickshaw was also trapped at KR Circle and a woman passenger saved her life by climbing on top of the vehicle. The rescuers saved her too.
Meanwhile, several vehicles got trapped at an another waterlogged underpass near Majestic, also in the centre of the city. People struggled hard to come out of their vehicles.
Many complained that the place gets flooded whenever there is heavy rainfall in the city and no measures have been taken to prevent it.
Rainwater entered several houses too due to the sudden downpour in the city.
At Mahalakshmi Layout, a prime area in the city, water gushed into houses, damaging furniture, electronic goods and stored food grains.
Many other areas were waterlogged, including the posh areas like Malleswaram and Rajaji Nagar, as well as Srirampuram, certain areas in Kengeri, Mysuru Road and several other low-lying areas.
Trees in various localities came down crashing, damaging home and vehicles. Traffic was thrown out of gear after trees fell.
"We are getting complaints of waterlogging, and trees crashing from all over Bengaluru," a Bengaluru civic agency official told PTI.