Five minor girls today drowned in an under-construction pond at Laxmipur of Mukhiyapatti Musaraniya Rural Municipality in Dhanusha.

Hulas Yadav of the municipality had dug up earth to construct a pond for breeding fish. The pit was filled with rainwater when the children jumped into it to beat the heat. After the girls drowned, two boys - Anand Sah, 8, and Amit Pandit, 9 - who had accompanied them and somehow survived went home and informed their parents about the tragedy.

Police reached the spot after learning about the incident only to find the bodies of the five girls floating in the pit.

"Police have recovered all the five bodies," said Dhanusha Superintendent of Police Prakash Ranabhat. According to Ranabhat, two minor boys, who had accompanied the deceased, had gone home to inform their relatives about the incident.

The deceased have been identified as Laxminiya Yadav, 12, Chandra Kumari Bhagat, 10, Manju Purbe,13, Lalita Sah Teli, 12, and Chandani Thakur, 10.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Makendra Mishra said the bodies would soon be sent to a hospital for post-mortem.

Police said they would investigate whether or not safety measures were put in place while digging the pit. Police have launched a manhunt to nab Hulas Yadav, said DSP Mishra.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 12, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.