CUTTACK: On Friday, an ODRAF boat engaged in the rescue mission of the stranded tusker capsized in the Mahanadi near Mundali barrage, killing television journalist Arindam Das.
The powerboat carrying five ODRAF officers and two journalists from a local news channel, Arindam and Pravat Sinha, overturned in the river due to high water currents. It was sent out to help the elephant in getting out of its snag.
The journalists and three ODRAF soldiers were carried to SCB Medical College and Hospital after being rescued in a severe condition. “Arindam was discovered to be dead. “For nearly an hour, we tried to resuscitate him,” SCB superintendent Bhubananda Moharana told the media.
Arindam was OTV’s chief reporter.
“Pravat is in critical condition and is being treated at the medicine department’s ICU. “One of the ODRAF personnel is in critical condition,” he continued.
On Friday afternoon, approximately 7 hours after being carried away in Mahanadi, a stranded tusker was inching towards the beach when it turned back into the waters due to a crowd on the bridge.
A 10-member expert team, led by DFO, Chandaka Wildlife, Mohd Jamil, arrived in Mundali this morning for ‘Operation Gaja,’ to save the sub-adult elephant stuck in the overflowing river’s currents.
The tusker was swept away by strong currents while crossing the Mahanadi near Mundali, according to sources. It was part of a herd of 17 elephants travelling from Nuasasan in Athagarh block to Chandaka. Due to the high current in the river, the tusker became entangled in the whirling water and was unable to move.
While attempting to help the stuck tusker, two elephants were reportedly carried away towards Naraj. Other members of the herd swam to Chandaka jungles, according to the sources.