Three persons died after falling through a frozen lake in Arizona, according to police. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) responded to a report at Woods Canyon Lake at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday after learning that a female and two men had “fallen through the ice” on the frozen water.
According to CBS station KPHO-TV, a family friend reported the ice broke away while the victims were taking a photo. The victims have been identified as Chandler, Arizona residents Gokul Mediseti, 47, Narayana Rao Muddana, 49, and Haritha Muddana, whose age was not provided. According to the sheriff’s office, all three individuals are originally from India.
According to a GoFundMe for the victims’ relatives, Mediseti went through the ice while trying to help the Muddanas after they abruptly entered the water. After arriving on the site, first responders were able to pull Haritha from the water, but their attempts to save her life were “unsuccessful,” according to the CCSO. The two guys were later found dead.
According to the GoFundMe page, the Muddanas have two children: Pujitha, 11, and Harshitha, 7. According to KPHO, Kishore Pittala, who lives next door to the Muddanas, is temporarily caring for the little girls while working to reunite the children with their grandparents in India.
“It is a tough situation, so the first thing is we are in shock and we are really worried about the kids,” Pittala said, according to the report. Pittala also described the Muddanas as “a really good family.” “This is a big loss to them,” he added.
More than $600,000 has been donated to the families affected by the tragedy through GoFundMe. According to the sheriff’s office, the incident is still being investigated.