In a heartbreaking incident, four young Indian students pursuing medical education at Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University in Russia lost their lives after being swept away by powerful currents in the Volkhov river. The group, consisting of Harshal Desale, Jishan Pinjari, Jia Pinjari, and Malik Yakub, all hailing from Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, had ventured into the waist-deep waters near a bridge, unaware of the lurking dangers.

A Desperate Attempt to Save a Friend

According to local reports, the tragedy unfolded when one of the female students found herself in distress while wading in the river. In a valiant effort to rescue their friend, the other four students rushed to her aid, but the relentless currents overpowered them, sweeping them away mercilessly. Tragically, Jishan Pinjari was on a video call with his family when the incident occurred, leaving them helpless witnesses to the unfolding catastrophe.

A Narrow Escape and Ongoing Search

While the five students were enjoying a leisurely walk along the river’s shores, little did they anticipate the perilous situation that would unfold. Nisha Sonawane, another student from the group, managed to survive the ordeal after being rescued by a life buoy from a passing ship. However, the search for the remaining two missing students continues, as local emergency services have recovered only two bodies thus far.

Outpouring of Support and Condolences

The Indian consulate in St. Petersburg has been working closely with the university and local authorities, providing all possible assistance to the families of the victims. The university administration has expressed its deepest condolences and is cooperating with the respective agencies to facilitate the repatriation of the students’ bodies to India.

A Sobering Reminder of Nature’s Might

This devastating incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable power of nature and the importance of exercising caution, especially in unfamiliar environments. Despite the students’ sobriety and their intent to enjoy a casual outing, the treacherous currents of the Volkhov river proved to be an unforgiving force, claiming the lives of four promising young individuals.

As the investigation into this tragedy continues, the thoughts and prayers of the entire community remain with the families and loved ones of the victims, who have been left to grapple with an unimaginable loss.


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