A team of 80 forest officials from two forest divisions of Odisha launched a major operation to rescue an adult tusker that was trapped inside the swirling floodwaters of Mahanadi river near Mundali bridge of Cuttack district on Friday morning, officials said.
Meanwhile, OTV's chief reporter Arindam Das, lost his life while covering elephant rescue operation in Mahanadi near Mundali barrage on a ODRAF boat on Friday. Members of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and the journalist were sent to rescue an elephant stranded in the flood water of Mahanadi when the boat capsized.
The operation to rescue an elephant stuck near Mundali in the Mahanadi river turned tragic as the boat used by the ODRAF team capsized after being attacked by the tusker on Friday. As per sources, few members of the team along with two media personnel were swept away after the boat capsized. They were attempting to rescue an elephant stuck near Mundali bridge.
Herd of 17 turskers were trying to cross the river. While eight managed to cross the river and reach Chandaka, two were swept away to Anantpur. Nine others moved towards Dhabaleswar.
“This is a huge loss for the journalists' fraternity of #Odisha. May his soul rest in peace”, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik expressed deep grief at the untimely demise Das in boat mishap in Mahanadi
"I'm deeply saddened at the passing of #OTV journalist & my friend Arindam Das. He had created his own identity with his daring news reportage in challenging circumstances. His demise has created a void in the Odia media fraternity", Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took to Twitter to condole the journalist's death.
Officials said on Friday locals found the tusker trumpeting and converged over the Mundali barrage as fire brigade personnel thought of ways to rescue the elephant.
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