Not a long time ago, Russian teens following Google Maps reached an abandoned road where they froze to death. Now, a man from Maharashtra followed Google Maps navigation to drive into a dam where he drowned and died. The man did not know how to swim, and drowned.
The 34-year old deceased, Satish Ghule was allegedly following Google Maps at Ahmednagar’s Akole town according to the police. The incident happened late at night at around 1:45 AM on Sunday. He was driving two men for a trek towards Kalsubai, which is Maharashtra’s highest peak. There were two men inside the vehicle – Guru Shekhar and Sameer Rajurkar to the place. They are all based in Pune.
Deputy Superintendent of police Rahul Madhne said,
“While driving towards Kalsubai for trekking, they had lost their way and sought guidance from Google Maps, when they accidentally drove into the water,” Senior Inspector Abhay Parmar of Akole police station was quoted as saying. “There is a bridge there, which is operational for eight months. But for four months after the rainy season, the water of the dam is released and the bridge goes underwater, due to which it cannot be used,”
The driver of the car did not know the route so he turned on the Google Maps. However, the navigation showed a way that includes a bridge that remains underwater for about 4 months after the authorities release the water from the Pimpalgaon dam. The information was not updated on the Google Maps so there was no warning on the maps. Also, the PWD department did not put up any notice or warning before the bridge to warn the people. Since the locals have information about the bridge getting submerged for four months, they do not use the bridge but others do not have any such information. During the rainy season, the bridge remains closed due to the rise in the water level.
Locals rushed to the spot
After the driver of the car drove into the submerged bridge, the occupants rescued themselves by swimming to the bank. However, the driver – Satish Ghule did not know swimming and he could not rescue himself. The locals rushed to the spot after the incident. They also pulled out the car from the water and rescued the driver’s body too. The trio was travelling in the Toyota Fortuner, which is very capable SUV. There is no information on why the driver did not stop after the water level started to rise though.
Not the first incident in India
There have been a few incidents in the past where people following Google Maps blindly went into the water bodies or took the abandoned, less-used roads in India. Last year, a person driving Tata Harrier followed Google Maps that showed the way through a forest. He got stuck on a riverbed in the middle of the night. Help arrived to rescue him after hours. The man had set the Google Maps to avoid toll roads and did not see the road he was heading into. It is always a good idea to take information about the road from the locals and duly check the routes suggested by Google Maps.