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30 missing in Bihar boat mishap
August 31, 2006 15:12 IST
Over 30 people, mostly women and children, are missing after a boat ferrying over 50 people capsized in the Ganga in Patna district on Thursday.
Around 17 people either swam to safety or were saved by locals and the rest remain traceless so far, District Magistrate B Rajendra, who is supervising the rescue operation, told PTI.
The mishap occurred near Darmiahi Ghat under Malsalami police station around 11 am when the boat carrying around 50 people and two buffaloes was on its way to Raghopur in Vaishali district.
Rajendra said prima facie overloading appeared to be the reason behind the tragedy.
Against a capacity of 20-25, nearly 50 people and two buffaloes were on board the country boat, officials as well as eyewitnesses said.
Rajendra said rescue boats and divers have been pressed into service. No body has been found so far, he added.
Naresh Rai and Golu Das, two who were on the boat and managed to swim to safety, told PTI that when the boat reached midstream water rushed in and it capsized.
Golu Das said his brother Kailash and nephew Arjun Das were among those missing. Soon after getting information about the tragedy, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was busy in 'Janata ke darbar me mukhya mantri' programme spoke to Patna DM and later left for the site of the accident.