He died too quickly for his body to regenerate - ergo, the Sisterhood of Karn had to first bring him back to life before giving him the elixir for regeneration.
There are a few precedents for this in the show:
In "Turn Left", a parallel world is created around the Doctor's companion Donna, and in it, the Doctor dies as a result of his reckless genocide of the Racnoss race. When his body is found, a soldier states, "I think so. He just didn't make it out in time... the Doctor is dead. Must have happened too fast for him to regenerate." The Doctor killed the Racnoss by flooding its base, so presumably, drowning can kill a Time Lord before they can regenerate.
This is reaffirmed in "The End of Time" when the Doctor tells his friend Wilfred Mott, "I can still die. If I'm killed before regeneration, then I'm dead."