Google has become such an intrinsic part of our lives today that we use it as an everyday verb. One of the company’s most popular products is Google Maps which is an extremely useful and handy tool. However, for one unfortunate man, the map led him to his demise. A driver in Maharashtra has died by drowning as Google Maps direction led him into a dam. The incident is from Ahmednagar’s Akole town around 1:45 AM on Sunday, and the deceased man has been identified as Satish Ghule, 34.
He was not alone in the car. He was ferrying two passengers from Pune, Guru Shekhar and Sameer Rajurkar. They were trying to reach to Kalsubai, the state’s highest peak, for a trek. Ghule used to work for Shekhar’s company but had lost his job in lockdown. Shekhar later employed him as his personal driver, according to Indian Express.
“While driving towards Kalsubai for trekking, they had lost their way and sought guidance from Google Maps, when they accidentally drove into the water,” said Abhay Parmar, senior inspector, Akole Police station. Apparently, there is a dam which remains operational for around eight months in a year. The remaining four months, it remains underwater as water is released into the dam following the rainy season. It is to this bridge towards which the Maps guided them. Authorities had released water from the Pimpalgaon dam, an information not present in the Maps algorithm. Neither were there any warning signs along the road by the authorities like PWD to warn incoming traffic.
The car entered the water and as it started to submerge, the two passengers managed to evacuate. It is reported that Ghule did not know how to swim and drowned as a result. The locals, who are aware of this fact, do not use the route. However, they rushed to the spot when word spread of the incident. They helped retract the car from the water with Ghule’s body. But what remains a mystery is why didn’t the driver stop or turn around when he saw there was water ahead of them instead of a road or a bridge.
This is not the first time Google Maps have resulted in a fatal journey. A teenager in Russia froze to death in December 2020. He was following Google Maps to guide his way which led him toward a path known as “Road of Bones.” The unused road, the brutal temperature of -50oC and inability to retrace their steps led to his ultimate death. Whereas in 2019, a man drove his car into a river in Bali following misinformed directions from Google Maps. Fortunately, he survived.