The day after Christmas, two girls’ parents and another father died of hypothermia after plunging into ice on a lake in Arizona, officials said.
Three of my parents dropped below 30 degrees on Monday while two families were visiting Lake Woods Canyon with another family.
The victims were identified as Narayana Mudana, 49, his wife Harisa, and Gokul Mediset, 47, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
The family, all of Indian origin, lived in Chandler, a city southeast of Phoenix.
“They were here, they were enjoying recreation, and they wanted to be photographed on the ice,” John Paxton, who works for the Sheriff’s Department, told ABC 15.
A firefighter told ABC 15 that two children and a woman narrowly survived after falling through the ice while trying to save a loved one.
By the time they got out of the water and had cell phone service available to call first responders, it was too late.
“At that point hypothermia sets in rapidly,” Paxton said. “And if you’re not a swimmer, it’s much harder.”
The Muddanas, who have two young daughters, Pujita, 11, and Harshita, 7, now live in a neighboring house, Narayana’s brother-in-law Naresh Babu Chimineni told local Indian media The told Hindu.
“U.S. authorities have said that because the girls are minors, they can only be sent back to India with their blood relatives. I will go to the United States in 2020,” he added.
Three other children from two other families also witnessed the tragic incident.
Harisa Mudana’s age was not immediately revealed.
This incident is under investigation.