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Odisha: Boat carrying over 57 capsizes, seven dead bodies recovered after hours of rescue operation

The district authorities said that the incident would be probed but at present, priority was to rescue the missing persons. Two persons were detained after the incident.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Bhubaneswar Updated on: April 20, 2024 14:28 IST
Rescue team at the site
Image Source : ANI Rescue team at the site

In a tragic incident, at least seven persons died, including four women and three children after a boat capsized in the Mahanadi River in Odisha's Jharsuguda district on Friday.

SP, Jharsuguda, Smit Parmar said, "ODRAF team and scuba divers were mobilised immediately. Since yesterday, the rescue operation has been underway and till today seven dead bodies have been recovered...Doctors have been called to the site as well...Efforts to rescue one more dead body is underway...Two boatmen have been detained and action will be taken according to law," he added.

According to the police, the incident happened when over 50 passengers hailing from the Kharsia area in neighbouring Chhattisgarh were returning in the boat after visiting a temple in Patharseni Kuda in Bargarh district.

The boat capsized when it was about to reach Sarada Ghat in Rengali police station in Jharsuguda district. 

"The local fishermen rescued 35 passengers and brought them to the bank," the police said.

Another set of  13 more people were rescued by the police and fire services personnel, he added.

Seven other passengers are still missing and a search operation has been launched, the police officer said.

"The missing persons comprised four women and three children. The search and rescue operation will continue till the last person is located," Northen Range IG Himansu Lal told PTI over phone.

The IG said four teams have been formed and at least five scuba divers along with two underwater search cameras deployed in the search operation.

Lal said personnel of ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force) has also been engaged in the operation.

While Chief Secretary P K Jena and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu have been monitoring the rescue and relief operation from Bhubaneswar, revenue divisional commissioner (RDC), Jharsuguda district collector and SP are present at the river bank and supervising the operation.

The scuba divers and underwater search cameras were taken to the site through a special flight from Bhubaneswar.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 4 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased.

Local Bargarh MP and senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari, who reached the spot, alleged, "The boat was operating without a valid license. It was not accorded a fitness certificate by the authority concerned and there was no life guard on it."

The Bargarh MP also claimed that the boat was overcrowded and ferrying around 50 people much beyond its capacity.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Indian Railways to operate highest ever train trips to meet summer demand | DETAILS

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