Sources said the seven youngsters, belonging to Seethalakshmipuram in Kabisthalam, went to take bath in the river on Friday noon. However, they were washed away due to a sudden heavy current. One of them, B Sanjai (14), managed to swim towards the river bank and raised an alarm. Locals then tried to locate those who were washed away, while the fire and rescue service personnel were also informed.
Based on the information, the fire and rescue service personnel from Papanasam rushed to the spot and launched an intensive search operation. The water flow in the Cauvery was reduced at the Cauvery-Arasalaru head to facilitate the search operation.
The bodies of S Manikandan (17), T Venkatesan (18), K Naveen (17) and B Sivabalan (15) were retrieved, while two others are still missing.
Sources said except Venkatesan, a college student, all the rest were school-going children. It is believed that they might have decided to take bath in the river due to the extended festival holidays. The bodies were taken to the Papanasam Government Hospital for post-mortem. The Kabisthalam police have registered a case.