A second person pulled from a sport utility vehicle that plunged into the St. Croix River on Sunday night has died.
Rohini Krishnamurthy, 27, died Tuesday afternoon at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. She had been in critical condition, said Jennifer Kovacich, a hospital spokeswoman.
The conditions of two other women hospitalized after the Stillwater accident remained the same. Kalaiselvi Vijayakumar, 25, was still listed in critical condition, and Deepa Vellusamy, 25, remained seriously injured.
The other occupant, Mohanraj Pothiraj, 28, died Monday, less than 12 hours after he was pulled from the SUV by Stillwater firefighters.
All four are residents of India who worked for Infosys Technologies. The company's headquarters are in Bangalore. The four friends and colleagues were here on work visas and assigned to Ameriprise Financial offices in Minneapolis.
Peter McLaughlin, a spokesman for Infosys Technologies, said they were from Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state in India. They were all single and, to his knowledge, did not have any family in Minnesota.
Three were program analysts: Vijayakumar, Pothiraj and Krishnamurthy. One, Vellusamy, was a software engineer. Pothiraj had worked for the company the longest -- four and a half years; the others had been with Infosys for nearly four years, McLaughlin said.
Vellusamy and Krishnamurthy were roommates in Minneapolis. Vijayakumar also lives in Minneapolis, while Pothiraj lived in Edina.
McLaughlin said the company was making arrangements with the U.S. State Department and Indian authorities over arrangements and expedited visa approvals for relatives of all of the victims.
"We're going to do everything we can to help with their speedy recoveries and rejoin [them] with the families," McLaughlin said. "We're hoping it will be in the next few days."
Wave of contract workers
The young workers appear to be part of a new group of South Asian immigrants coming to the Twin Cities to live and work.
"There are waves of contract workers from companies like Cognizant, Infosys," said Kaleel Ahmed, who emigrated from India 20 years ago and lives in Woodbury. He works for 3M, where there are a lot of contract workers who come directly from India to work primarily in technology fields. "There's a huge wave of people here in the Twin Cities," Ahmed said.
Infosys has 88,000 employees worldwide, including roughly 7,000 in the United States. There are 300 Infosys consultants working in the Twin Cities and about 360 in the state, McLaughlin said.
Why were they there?
Stillwater police had hoped on Tuesday to be able to interview the women who were badly injured when their rented sport-utility vehicle plunged into the St. Croix River. McLaughlin said the four were in Stillwater to do some sightseeing.
Chief John Gannaway said authorities are hoping to learn what the group was doing on a gravel access road that gets little use except from Stillwater residents.
The vehicle somehow plunged into the river at the Stillwater Marina about 10 p.m. Sunday, and two 911 calls were made from the vehicle. As dispatchers talked to people inside, they encouraged the occupants to try opening doors or breaking windows.
The callers said they couldn't swim and cold water was flowing in, but they gave conflicting reports about where the vehicle was located. In the first call, an occupant said the group was in Stillwater but couldn't be clear about where. In the second, the caller said they were in Wisconsin.
Emergency workers eventually found them and pulled them from the vehicle and the water, authorities said.
Gannaway said that a State Patrol reconstruction should show how the accident happened. He said he didn't know when that will be completed.
On Tuesday, pink stripes painted on the ground and a snapped tree remained the only evidence of the accident.
Staff writer Kevin Giles contributed to this report. email@example.com • 651-298-1550