Hurricane Harvey: Indian Student Nikhil Bhatia Dies

Nikhil Bhatia and Shalini Singh were rescued in critical condition from Lake Bryan in Texas on Saturday.


A 24-year-old Indian student, Nikhil Bhatia, who was rescued from Lake Bryan on August 26 after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Houston and nearby areas, passed away in the hospital on August 30.

Bhatia, who was a student at the Texas A&M University, was rescued from the lake where he had gone swimming along with another Indian girl, Shalini Singh. The two nearly drowned in the swollen lake as the tropical storm hit the region.

Indians Students Almost Drowned

When they were swimming, a sudden current of water pushed them further down and the students started struggling to breathe when Bryan Police officers, who were nearby, noticed them, PTI reported. They were able to provide CPR to the two until medics came, said Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson.

While Singh, 25, continues to be in a critical condition, Bhatia passed away, said the Consulate officials, who were in touch with family members in the hospital and in India.

Hailing originally from Jaipur, Bhatia was pursuing Masters in Public health at the university. Dr Anupam Ray, the Consul General of India in Houston, was attending to their medical needs. Bhatia’s mother, Dr Suman Bhatia, reached the US and was received by the consulate at Dallas Airport.

Catastrophic Hurricane Harvey

At least 100,000 Indian-Americans living in and around Houston area have been severely affected by the tropical storm.

The life-threatening storm has affected around 13 million people, with rains turning streets into rivers. At least 30 flood-related deaths have been confirmed by local officials. The record-breaking reading of the rainfall will reach 50 inches by Thursday, according to meteorologists.

The storm made its second landfall west of Cameron, the National Hurricane Center said on August 30, The New York Times reported. Hurricane Harvey is expected to move northeast, weaken and become  a tropical depression on Wednesday night.

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