An open drain and a poorly lit road claimed the life of a young Radio Mirchi executive in Noida in the early hours of Wednesday. Tania, the victim, was 28 years old and she was driving her Verna car that hot plunged into an 8-foot wide drain. She negotiated a bend near the Sector 85 roundabout around 1.30 a.m. There is just one streetlight in the area.
The car nosedived into the drain, filled with water five feet deep, with the bumper hitting the drain's bed. The windscreen broke, leading to water gushing into the sedan. Tania tried to wriggle into the car's back seat but was unable to open the doors, which had got auto-locked. The autopsy report said the cause of death was drowning.
A police officer said Tania had followed her friend’s car from Noida’s Atta market. “When they approached the Sector 85 roundabout, her friend drove on but Tania appears to have lost her way. She went too far to the left, went over the footpath and fell into the drain near Om Sai Nursery,” the cop said.
The friend, whose car Tania was following, turned around after driving for some time and returned to the accident spot to find a crowd of people gathered near the drain.
Tania’s younger brother Kunal said sheer negligence of civic officials had caused his sister’s death. “Such a huge drain has been left uncovered and there is no proper mechanism of streets lights in the area. There is also no CCTV camera installed there. We are shattered.”
Noida Authority officials did not respond to requests for a comment. In a statement, Radio Mirchi described Tania as one of its stars. “Tania, who was part of Mirchi’s sales team in Delhi, was well-known within the organisation as a vivacious, ambitious and loved colleague. This tragedy has left a huge hole in all our hearts,” it said.
Basant, the owner of the makeshift nursery adjacent to the drain, right next to the accident spot, said he and his family were woken up by a loud noise. “We rushed out and found a car had fallen into the drain. A small wooden bridge to help people cross the drain was also damaged,” he said.
Basant called policemen from the nearby Sector 85 outpost. A crane was rushed there. It appears Tania remained trapped in the car for at least 20-25 minutes before the crane pulled the Verna out and the cops managed to extract her. “She was not responding when she was rescued,” said Neeraj Kumar, who is in charge of the outpost.
"Don’t rush anything. When the time is right, it’ll happen", her Facebook cover photo reads. Police said there were no external injury marks on the body. Arun Kumar Singh, SP Noida, said, “It seems the car was speeding and she could not apply brakes on time. The family has not filed any complaint.”