Latur, May 14 (PTI) Five women, all itinerant sugarcane cutters, drowned in an irrigation pond in Ahmedpur tehsil of Maharashtra's Latur district on Saturday morning, police said.

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The incident took place at Tulshiram Tanda village around 8.30 am when the victims were washing clothes in the pond, an official from the Kingao police station said.

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One of the women slipped into the water and began to drown. Others tried to rescue her but they too drowned, he said.

The deceased were identified as Radhabai Dhondiba Aade (45), her daughters Diksha (20) and Kajal (19), all residents of Ramapurtanda in Palam tehsil of Parbhani district, and Sushma Sanjay Rathod (21) and Aruna Gangadhar Rathod (25) from Mojmabad Tanda in the same tehsil.

The women had been working in sugarcane fields in Ahmedpur tehsil for the last five months, the police official said.

Families of sugarcane cutters typically migrate from their home districts to find work when cane is harvested.

The incident came on the heels of a similar tragedy in Dombivli near Mumbai last week when five members of a family -- two women and three children -- drowned in a pond while washing clothes.

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