Bhubaneswar, September 24: Senior television journalist and Chief Reporter of Odisha Television Limited (OTV) Arindam Das died by drowning in the line of duty at Mundali barrage in Cuttack on Friday while covering an operation launched to rescue an elephant stuck in the Mahanadi river near Mundali barrage in Cuttack district.
Cameraperson Prabhat Sinha, who accompanied Das, is being treated at the SCB Medical College and Hospital. Cuttack. He is stated to be critical.
Both Das and Sinha boarded a boat along with a six member ODRAF team. The boat capsized due to the strong river current. Following the mishap, Das and Sinha along with ODRAF officials were swept away by the strong current.
Immediately, a rescue operation was launched and all the TV crew and ODRAF personnel were brought to the banks. Both the OTV representatives along with three ODRAF personnel were rushed to the SCB Hospital in Cuttack where the doctors tried to resuscitate Das but it was too late.
“Total five persons – two OTV journalists and three ODRAF personnel were brought here. One Arindam was declared received dead. Another OTV staff namely Prabhat is in critical condition. Of the three ODRAF personnel, the condition of one of them is critical,” said SCB Emergency Officer Dr Bhubanananda Maharana.
A tusker got stranded near the barrage while trying to cross Mahanadi today morning. The wild animal was unable to move due to the strong current in the river. The ODRAF team then launched an operation with its team to save the elephant.