Four teenage girls and a 40-year-old man drowned in a river in Bihar's Aurangabad district on Sunday, officials said.
The incident took place in Hamidnagar village, around 110 km from state capital Patna, when the four girls aged between 13 and 15 years went to wash their clothes in Punpun River.
One of the girls slipped and got swept away by the current. The remaining three girls tried to rescue her but all of them started drowning, Daudnagar Sub-divisional Magistrate Kumari Anupam Singh said.
Seeing this, one of the bystanders dived into the river to save the girls but all of them tugged at him out of fear, resulting in the drowning of all five people, the SDM said, adding that professional divers have been deployed to take the bodies out.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the incident and directed the district administration to give a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of the family of the dead.
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