The body of Kannada actor Anil Kumar was recovered on Thursday morning, nearly four days after he drowned in a reservoir while shooting for a stunt sequence in the film Mastigudi. This comes a day after another victim, Raghava Uday’s body was recovered. The two budding actors died while shooting the climax scene of the film in flagrant violation of norms and without safety equipment.

More than 50 members from various rescue agencies, including NDRF, were pressed into search operation since Monday. However, the desilted dam made the search operation difficult. The post-mortem was conducted on the spot at Thippagondanahalli lake and the body was handed over to the family for the last rites.

The 33-year-old aspiring actor was also a co-producer of Mastigudi. The tragedy was waiting to happen as the stunt director Ravi Verma was not prepared for the risky stunt.

According to reports, Ravi Verma had directly gone for the take without any rehearsals or without the proper safety procedure in place. According to the script, in the climax scene, the hero who fights bad people to save forests, chases down the escaping villains and wouldn’t let them get away even when they try to fly away on a chopper. The hero, clinging onto the chopper, manages to push off both the villains into the lake while the chopper is midair. And he jumps along with them to drag them to the shore.

As seen in the video, Anil and Uday jumped into the Thippagondanahalli lake, followed by Duniya Vijay, the lead actor in Mastigudi. Vijay managed to stay afloat as he was wearing a life jacket and was rescued just in time. But Anil and Uday were not wearing any protective gear or harness to prevent them from drowning. The motor boat, which was on standby to pick up the actors, did not start at the crucial time. And the makers had not enlisted the services of expert swimmers to support the actors in the high-stake action sequence.

What’s more upsetting about this tragedy is the fact that the makers decided to go ahead with the shoot, despite Anil and Uday revealing that they can’t swim well.

Meanwhile, the film crew had no permission to shoot inside the lake. The BWSSB had only given permission to shoot on the banks and garden of the reservoir, located 35 km west of Bengaluru. However, the makers decided to pull off the risky stunt sequence quickly in the absence of the BWSSB officers, who were posted there to oversee the film’s shooting. And that answers why there were no rehearsals before the actual take.

From the word go, everything about the ill-fated shooting seems to have gone wrong. Police have held film director Nagashekar, producer Sundar Gowda on the charges of culpable homicide and looking for Ravi Verma, whose whereabouts are unknown.