NOIDA: An open drain and a poorly lit road claimed the life of a young Radio Mirchi executive in Noida in the early hours of Wednesday.
The victim, Tania Khanna, 28, was driving a Verna car that plunged into the eight-foot-wide drain as she negotiated a bend near the Sector 85 roundabout around 1.30am. There is just one streetlight in the area.
The car nosedived into the drain, filled with water five feet deep, with the bumper hitting the drain’s bed. The windscreen broke, leading to water gushing into the sedan. Tania tried to wriggle into the car’s back seat but was unable to open the doors, which had got auto-locked. The autopsy report said the cause of death was drowning.
Tania was group manager (sales) at Radio Mirchi and worked out of its office in Noida’s Film City. She lived in Ghaziabad’s Kavi Nagar. On Tuesday, she had visited Radio Mirchi’s Gurugram office and the accident happened when she was driving back to a friend’s place in Noida’s Sector 137.
Negligence of civic agencies led to accident, says family
A police officer said Tania had followed her friend’s car from Noida’s Atta market. “When they approached the Sector 85 roundabout, her friend drove on but Tania appears to have lost her way. She went too far to the left, went over the footpath and fell into the drain near Om Sai Nursery,” the cop said. The friend, whose car Tania was following, turned around after driving for some time and returned to the accident spot to find a crowd of people gathered near the drain.
Tania’s younger brother Kunal said sheer negligence of civic officials had caused his sister’s death. “Such a huge drain has been left uncovered and there is no proper mechanism of streets lights in the area. There is also no CCTV camera installed there. We are shattered.” Noida Authority officials did not respond to requests for a comment. In a statement, Radio Mirchi described Tania as one of its stars. “Tania, who was part of Mirchi’s sales team in Delhi, was well-known within the organisation as a vivacious, ambitious and loved colleague. This tragedy has left a huge hole in all our hearts,” it said.
Basant, owner of the makeshift nursery adjacent to the drain, right next to the accident spot, said he and his family were woken up by a loud noise. “We rushed out and found a car had fallen into the drain. A small wooden bridge to help people cross the drain was also damaged,” he told TOI. Basant called policemen from the nearby Sector 85 outpost. A crane was rushed there. It appears Tania remained trapped in the car for at least 20-25 minutes before the crane pulled the Verna out and the cops managed to extract her. “She was not responding when she was rescued,” said Neeraj Kumar, who is in charge of the outpost.
Tania was taken to Yatharth Hospital where doctors declared her brought dead. The Verna’s lights and engine were on after it fell into the drain, police said. Tania’s cellphone, purse and laptop were found in the car. Family members, friends and colleagues who reached the spot after receiving information were in a state of shock. Tania lived with her parents and brothers Deepak and Kunal in Kavi Nagar. “We got information about her accident very late on late Tuesday. We rushed to the hospital in Noida where she was admitted,” said Lalit Khanna (55), Tania’s father.
Tania had an MBA in retail management from Amity Business School (she graduated in 2011). “Don’t rush anything. When the time is right, it’ll happen,” her Facebook cover photo reads. Police said there were no external injury marks on the body. Arun Kumar Singh, SP (city) Noida, said, “It seems the car was speeding and she could not apply brakes on time. The family has not filed any complaint.”