Pune: A Chinchwad-based businessman died by drowning after his car went under the backwater of a dam in Akole tehsil of Nagar district on Saturday (January 9) early morning. His two other friends accompanying him managed to escape and save their lives.
The businessman was driving the car and relied on the closest route shown by Google Maps while they were enroute Kalsubai - a mountain in the Western Ghats and the highest point in Maharashtra with its summit situated at an elevation of 1,646 metre - for a trek.
The deceased businessman has been identified as Satish Suresh Ghule (34), a resident of Pimpri. His two friends Guru Satyaraj Shekhar (42) and Sameer Rajurkar (44) managed to rescue themselves during the accident. All three are businessman - originally from Kolhapur - and now settled in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
The trio were traveling in their car, bearing registration number MH14 KY 4079, and were headed to Kalsubai for a trek scheduled on Sunday (January 10). Since they were not sure of the road to take, they were relying on Google Maps to show them the right way.
Google Maps showed them the road from Kotul to Akole as the shortest route, however this road is closed for most months of the year. The levels of backwater of Pimpalgaon-Khand dam rises after monsoon season and the bridge on Kotul-Akole road gets submerged in the water. Local citizens are aware of this and hence they do not use this road, however others are unaware of the submerged bridge.
At present, there is about 20 feet high water above the bridge. Since it was dark on Saturday morning and no warning signboard was installed by the government department officials, Ghule and his friends unknowingly went ahead on the bridge.
Before the trio could sense anything, the car went straight under water. All three friends tried to save their lives by opening the doors of the car and swimming out of the water. Guru and Sameer managed to come out of the car however Ghule could not. It is suspected that his car door did not unlock and hence he died by drowning.
Local citizens came to know about this accident a while later and rushed to the spot. Relatives of the three friends also reached the spot. The car and dead body of Ghule was recovered later.