Tragedy struck the family of Megha Reddy -- a UK doctor visiting his relatives in India -- when his daughter, Manvi, fell from his arms and into the Musi river that flows through the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, on Thursday afternoon.
The 18-month-old’s body was recovered after a day, and was returned to her family on Saturday after a post-mortem examination, the Telegraph reported.
“I was holding Manvi when she suddenly moved and slipped from my arms,” Reddy, who is an anesthetist with the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in England, told Srinivas Reddy, an inspector with the local police, the Telegraph reported.
The river was swollen from the monsoon showers and Reddy could not jump in to save his daughter as the river was fast-flowing, the report said, adding that Reddy was photographing Manvi’s two brothers -- aged 10 and five -- when the incident occurred.
“The sludge and swiftly flowing water apparently deterred him from jumping into the river,” officer Reddy told the Telegraph. “Some passers-by tried to rescue the baby, but by then there was no trace of her.”
Local volunteers and emergency services were called in to help with the search for Manvi’s body, which was found three miles downstream from where the tragedy happened.
“The body was floating in the still water at the check dam,” officer Reddy said. “If there was any delay on our part in sending the boat, the body would have crossed the check dam along with the overflowing water.”
The Reddys, who hold Indian and British citizenships, were on a three-week holiday in India to attend a wedding and to visit relatives. Reports said that they were on their way back from visiting a dam 100 miles from Hyderabad when Reddy stopped by a river to show his children the difference between man-made canals and a natural river in flood.
"We had just returned from Nagarjuna Sagar, where the Krishna river was roaring,” Pratibha, Manvi’s mother, told the Telegraph. “My husband took the children to Musi river at LB Nagar to show the difference between a full river and a city-based river."
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.