Vijayawada: Hundreds of people witnessed an elderly person being washed away in the River Krishna after officials lifted five crest gates of the Prakasam barrage unannounced on Saturday, to dislodge a boat stuck in one of the sluice gates from the past one week.
Among those on the barrage at that time was minister P. Anilkumar Yadav and district collector A. Md. Imtiaz, overseeing the attempts to dislodge the boat stuck at Gate No. 68.
It is not clear that the minister and Mr Imtiaz witnessed the tragedy.
Sources said that the attention of the officials was focussed on the minister and the collector and they failed to notice the fishermen, later identified as Majji Appanna, 80, when they lifted the gates.
By the time the NDRF teams managed to trace the fisherman, he had died.
Meanwhile, Mr Imtiaz condemned the allegations that the elderly person died due to negligence of the officials. He said that the Appanna, was watching the release of water along with the other visitors and had fallen into the river.
Mr Imtiaz said that they immediately alerted the NDRF teams who tried to save the victim....