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Two Indian Students at Texas A&M Succumb after Rescue from Lake

Shalini Singh, 25, and Nikhil Bhatia, 24, were victims of a drowning accident in the choppy waters of Lake Bryan as Hurricane Harvey was passing over the College Station area.

Shalini Singh, 25, and Nikhil Bhatia, 24, were victims of a drowning accident in the choppy waters of Lake Bryan as Hurricane Harvey was passing over the College Station area.

COLLEGE STATION: Two Indian students—Shalini Singh and Nikhil Bhatia—have died after they were rescued on Saturday, August 26, from the choppy waters of Lake Bryan, churned by the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey.

While Bhatia, 24, died in hospital on August 30, Singh, 25, who was initially in critical condition, was declared dead on Sunday, Sept. 2 at a hospital in Houston.

Singh’s younger brother and maternal uncle, who flew in from New Delhi on August 30, were with her at the time of death.  

Singh, originally hailing from Delhi, came to the U.S. only last month to pursue a two-year Masters program in Public Health after earning her degree in Dental Surgery from ITS Dental College in Greater Noida.

She was to be cremated in Bryan on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, according to sources at the Indian Consulate in Houston.

According to their friends and some witnesses, Singh and Bhatia were swimming in the lake when a sudden current of water pushed them deeper. The friends accompanying them noticed that the duo was in distress and flagged down nearby police officers.

Bryan Police officers were able to rescue and provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the victims until medics arrived, according to Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson. The 25-year-old student lost her battle with life late on Sunday night at a hospital in Houston The 25-year-old student lost her battle with life late on Sunday night at a hospital in Houston.

Consul General of India in Houston, Dr Anupam Ray had been monitoring Singh’s medical condition needs closely and helped facilitate the arrival of Singh and Bhatia’s relatives to Bryan, despite road closures due to floods in the Houston area.

“She wanted to do research on diseases. She aimed to serve the humanity. That was her motto and it remained so, until I last saw her before she left India,” her father said here after the shocking news hit the family like a tsunami.

“She was passionate about her higher studies,” he told PTI, and almost choked recalling the moment when she had learned of her selection to the famed American university. “She wanted to do research on diseases. She aimed to serve the humanity. That was her motto and it remained so, until I last saw her before she left India,” her father said here after the shocking news hit the family like a tsunami.

“She was passionate about her higher studies,” he told PTI, and almost choked recalling the moment when she had learned of her selection to the famed American university.The funeral of Bhatia took place on Friday in the presence of his mother and close friends.  According to the consulate office, Bhatia’s mother, Suman Bhatia, will be leaving for India on September 4 and will carry his ashes with her.

Bhatia recently graduated from Texas A&M University in water management and hydrological science and had enrolled in a Phd program for the Fall session. Bhatia was the only child of Suman, a lecturer in a government college, and Pradeep Bhatia, an Indian Defense Department employee based in Udaipur.

Bhatia, originally from Jaipur, had completed his schooling from Jaipur and did his engineering in Vellore. Bhatia’s cousin, Kushal described his cousin as “a topper with a brilliant mind and a noble personality”. “No one ever imagined that Nikhil, who was riding high on success, would meet such an abrupt end,” he said.

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