Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jagatsinghpur, Mar 9:

Two boys went missing after drowning in Mahanadi river in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district. The youths were feared dead as they remained untraced till late in the evening.

According to reports, Siddhant Palai (18) and Souri Rout (20) and four other boys had gone to the river to take bath at around 11 am today. Before bathing, they played with a ball in the waist-deep waters. In the meantime, the ball got swayed in the water owing which Siddhant went after it to get it back.

However, he slipped into deep waters near the under-construction Rahama-Khosalpur bridge. Seeing this, Souri too chased him to bail his friend out of the trouble, but in vain. The two drowned in the river.

Fire officials from Tirtol and Kujang were pressed into service to trace the missing boys. Till 8 pm, the whereabouts of the duo was unknown. The rescue operation was suspended as darkness set in.

Paradip ADM Biswajit Biswal, Tirtol police station IIC Balaram Nayak, Kujang police station IIC Bichitrananda Samal, Kujang Tehsildar Basudev Satpathy, Tirtol Tehsildar and BDO Ranjan Kumar Parida among others reached the spot to oversee the rescue operation.

While the two boys could not be traced, locals staged a road blockade on Cuttack-Paradip road near Rahama market affecting the vehicular traffic.

Siddhant was a student of Plus II (Science) in Sarala Mahavidyalaya at Rahama. He was a resident of Jalpada village near Balitutha under Ersama police limits. On the other hand, Souri was working in a private company.

While Siddhant was living in a hostel, Souri was residing close by and had become friends.