Shivpuri: An Independence Day picnic turned into a tragedy on Wednesday as at least 17 holidaymakers were swept away while bathing near Sultangarh Waterfall in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh as water levels rose sharply after heavy rains.
At least 30 others were stranded on rocks downstream, while seven have been rescued so far, police said, adding that a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had reached the spot.
The waterfall is located in Subhashpura area bordering Gwalior district.
A helicopter was pressed into service to rescue others who were trapped on two big rocks in the water downstream. Eight stranded persons have been rescued, Shivpuri Collector Shilpa Gupta said from spot.
Rescue operations have been hampered by the rain, officials said.
Tourists thronged the place on Wednesday due to the Independence Day holiday. The waterfall is near Mohana village, 55 km from the district headquarters.
There was a sudden surge in water around 4.30 PM, possibly due to heavy rain upstream, catching those bathing near the waterfall unawares, police said. It is suspected that the tourists fell 100 feet after they went closer to the waterfall to click selfies.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet that efforts were on to rescue those stranded, and he was in constant touch with local officials.