A distressing video of two young men plunging to their death has been doing the rounds on the internet.

The video shows the men – unsteady and drinking alcohol from a bottle – climb over a railing and in a fraction of second fall down a 2,000ft deep gorge. The place is a famous picnic spot during the monsoons or rainy season in the central Indian state of Maharashtra.

The men who died have been identified as poultry farm workers Imran Garadi (26) and Pratap Rathod (21) and hail from Kolhapur district in Maharashtra. They were hanging out with five other friends at Amboli Ghat, which is 491km away from the Maharashtra capital and financial hub Mumbai, when the incident took place.

In the video filmed by their friends on 31 July, the two youngsters can be seen performing stunts in an inebriated state. They are then seen climbing over a safety railing, holding on to the bars and facing the abyss below. As they laugh and talk on the ledge, one of them loses his footing and grabs the other and both fall into the gorge.

Their friends immediately went to the police to report the two missing. However, police gathered details about what actually transpired from locals and shopkeepers and started a search operation. "We will question the person who shot the video," an officer said, adding that this person could have stopped his friends from the misadventure instead of making a video.

Hill Riders and Summit Adventures trekking groups have joined the police in their search operation and spotted the bodies down in the valley, but were unable to retrieve them. Rain, water cascading down the hill and mist were making it difficult to retrieve the bodies, senior police officer Sunil Dhanawade said.

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