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Old 12th January 2021, 13:02   #1
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Default Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

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.

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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.

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.

Source : https://www.cartoq.com/man-google-maps-drown/
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:13   #2
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

While it is a sad incident and google map can be blamed to an extent for showing wrong route, but google map can not be held responsible for driver's death. One must not take their vehicle into water no mater what.
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:16   #3
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Google Maps has indeed become VERY unreliable in the last few years, the moment there is traffic on any NH. In the interest of saving time and/or distance, it tries to re-route you through SHs, local roads, streets or even kaccha, unpaved walkways. And yes, this even when it is marked that tolls are not to be avoided.

I've myself had a couple of bad experiences, once when it routed me through non-existent roads and fields while returning from Mussoorie because there was traffic on the Ganga Canal road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueSteer View Post
However, the driver – Satish Ghule did not know swimming and he could not rescue himself.
HT in today's print version says this person was stuck because the door wouldn't open.

Quote:
Ghule drowned as his car door did not open, when the vehicle sunk into the dam waters.
https://epaper.hindustantimes.com/Ho...6c&imageview=0
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:22   #4
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

RIP. I am aghast at this development and makes me wonder, have we completely forgotten the art of seeking help from locals. In pre-GMAP era, folks were asking the villagers and locals for help and guidance, however with the advent of technology we have become its slaves.

I can vividly remember my trip from Chennai to Yercaud with my better half, wherein google map had taken us to the dangerous mountain roads, where the roads were very narrow and the other side had a deep gorge. Upon sensing that we may have come dangerously close to reaching a place where motoring down the hill and reversing would be a daunting task, immediately parked my car on the side and walked to a local folk who was kind enough to have alerted regarding the uphill issues. We did course correction and saved our lives that day. It was very foggy and misty on that day and I shudder to think of that 20 minutes uphill drive.

Coming to this issue, I think it is the sole mistake of local government authorities and the cops who failed to barricade the bridge approach point. We cant expect someone to be of our rescue in the wee hours at night.

Precious life lost!
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:24   #5
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

It is indeed a sad news, and cannot get back the lost life. But even though the news is projected as it is mainly "Google maps" is at fault, the article points out few other conjoining causes.

1. Driver might have not noticed the boundary of submerged bridge, and at early morning no one nearby to warn them.

2. PWD/water body authorities should have installed a caution board,

3. I know its a panic situation and dark, but the friends should have known if the man could swim.

Now the authorities must focus on reducing such incidents in this place by making some corrections and also take it as a lesson to pre-emptively address this type of faults in other locations than playing a blame game.Google maps should issue a statement and update their data on all such locations by collaborating with the government authorities/NGOs.

Last edited by saikarthik : 12th January 2021 at 13:25.
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:31   #6
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

In Nagda, Madhya Pradesh, following Google maps resulted into us entering lanes so narrow that my uncle had to get down from car, move a motorcycle and then the car would pass. And then it took us towards end of the city where trucks were parked and road was non existent. Eventually, we got back to highway, called up our hosts and asked them meet us on highway, guide us then. We got partial help while exiting and then I said we will follow Google maps, mistake. We entered weird narrow residential lanes struggling to reach highway.

Forget that, even one entry point onto National Expressway 1 from Aslali Check Post Circle in Ahmedabad is not mentioned in Google Maps. After I used Google Maps to reach the point highlighted in below image and joined NE1, Google Maps asked for feedback for taking a different route. After reaching home, I promptly provided information with approximate distance between Aslali Check Post Circle and the Expressway Highway turn.

While our highways might be improving, they are still not good enough with proper markings specially the state highways. Traveling at night on any unknown road is certainly not recommended. Moreover, unknown roads plus Fog is also another disaster recipe.
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Last edited by aaggoswami : 12th January 2021 at 13:42.
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:34   #7
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDED View Post
RIP. I am aghast at this development and makes me wonder, have we completely forgotten the art of seeking help from locals. In pre-GMAP era, folks were asking the villagers and locals for help and guidance, however with the advent of technology we have become its slaves.
Don't think it's a lost art. We must note that the trio was traveling in quite a remote area at 1.30am in the morning.
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:40   #8
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

I had two recent incidents where Google Maps went bonkers. It just put in me circles, I ditched Maps and used age old technique.
In relation to topic, the car in pic looks like an Endeavour? Surprised on why did not driver realise depth of water sooner.
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Old 12th January 2021, 15:11   #9
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Exactly how does one 'accidentally' drive into water?

We were put into this situation (Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries) a couple of months back. And every water crossing, vehicles stopped, somebody walked across to gauge the depth and then cross. Some cases everyone was scared to venture and were waiting for vehicles to come from the other side. This included Innovas and Fortuners as well.

You don't simply venture into an unknown water crossing just because the vehicle is a Fortuner.
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Old 12th January 2021, 15:52   #10
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

It's so sad to see that we have become so reliant on Google maps. I still think, some basic common sense should prevail. It's not like this entire generation was just born onto Online Navigation.

Also, there is no harm in asking a bystander, and use logic to verify the information on Google Maps, especially when the road forward feels bad.
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Old 12th January 2021, 16:05   #11
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Relying on Google can be very dicey especially when there is no one to ask.

Once, in Munnar, we were misdirected on a tea plantation car track (just before dusk) which was barely wide enough for my Octavia - at many points the track was next to a cliff with a steep drop. Could feel the fully loaded car's RH wheels squirming on the loose gravel especially on the crumbling culverts.

Thanked my lucky stars we got away safely. May his soul RIP.
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Old 12th January 2021, 16:18   #12
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Surprised that no one is finding fault with the PWD for not blocking the road. Even without google maps there was this danger of people getting on to that road
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Old 12th January 2021, 16:19   #13
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anxiousblock View Post
While it is a sad incident and google map can be blamed to an extent for showing wrong route, but google map can not be held responsible for driver's death. One must not take their vehicle into water no mater what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Exactly how does one 'accidentally' drive into water?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
It's so sad to see that we have become so reliant on Google maps. I still think, some basic common sense should prevail. It's not like this entire generation was just born onto Online Navigation.

Also, there is no harm in asking a bystander, and use logic to verify the information on Google Maps, especially when the road forward feels bad.

It's a combination of
- confidence of the road conditions relying on Google maps
- driving in the darkness of the night with no street lights or any source of external lights
- speeding (enough hints - empty roads, decent condition of roads, late night riding)
- a fast car with a lot of power
- carelessness and over confidence that there isn't/can't be a problem

My guess - they were speeding up the road and landed up in the middle of the water, and probably went on assuming the water overflow is just temporarily (after all the maps says the road and bridge exists). Also the chance that they went over the bridge (might not have a railing on the sides) as the overflowing water might not have shown where the bridge side ends.

-----------------------------

I can relate to this situation very well. Half a decade ago, on one of the outer roads circling Bangalore city, I was driving from Timkur to Hoskote, bypassing Bangalore city entirely.

Late night, empty roads with zero street lighting, but in good condition, with the stinking 1.6L tdi engine of Vento, I was driving as badly as one can assume. There was a bridge over a small stream/drain which in reality had broken in the middle and there was a side track temporary bridge which Google Maps hadn't picked up at all. I was completely unaware and would have gone over driving into the drain, but just noticed the huge gap in the middle of the bridge at the last sec and braked hard. If this could happen to me ourside a metro city, I can only assume how unfortunate the situation would have been for these guys.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 12th January 2021 at 16:31.
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Old 12th January 2021, 17:46   #14
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

RIP to the driver. This is an incident/accident which is not supposed to have happenned.

We cannot expect google to automatically update the bridge not being available. Google relies on the data to be updated by another user or the respective govt department to update them on non-availability.

PWD is to be blamed here for not blocking the approach or put even a physical warning on availability of the bridge. The sound of it looks like its a regular thing of the bridge vanishing for 4 months every year after rains (Correct me if my understanding is wrong).

End of it, a precious life has been lost.
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Old 12th January 2021, 18:15   #15
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Default re: Man drives onto submerged bridge after following Google Maps, drowns to death

Back in 2011 I along with my family were travelling from Goa to Mumbai in a Chevrolet Tavera and following Google Maps (yes, 9 years ago!) and it directed us exactly to a similar road to the one in the news. The water was flowing over the road at a very great speed and we really got scared!

Thankfully, just about 50 meters or so before that, there was a handmade and handwritten board with the writing "Aaakhri Raasta" (The last road) which I clearly remember reading out loud making the driver slow down to crawling speeds enabling us to stop before what could have also been a bad situation.

Learnings: When following Google maps to a new location, drive very slowly if the road is unknown, it's dark, there's no one around to help and turn off music.
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