West Bengal: At least eight persons drowned and several others were feared missing, after they were swept away due to flash floods in the Mal river in Jalpaiguri district during idol immersion on the occasion of 'Vijayadashami', a senior official said.
The incident took place in the evening when hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the Mal river to participate in the immersion ceremony.
"All of a sudden, flash floods struck and people were swept away. So far, eight bodies have been recovered, and we have rescued around 50 people," Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara told PTI.
"The search and rescue operations are underway and being carried out by teams of the NDRF, SDRF, police and local administration,ö she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on the incident saying "anguished by the mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones."Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari requested the state administration to step up the rescue efforts.
"Saddening news coming from Jalpaiguri as flash flood in Mal river during Durga Puja immersion swept away many people. Few deaths have been reported till now. I request the DM of Jalpaiguri & @chief_west to urgently step up rescue efforts & provide assistance to those in distress," he tweeted.