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7 dead after boat with 50 passengers capsizes in Odisha’s Mahanadi river

Mangalore Today News Network

Odisha, April 20, 2024: At least seven people were killed after a boat carrying around 50 passengers capsized in the Mahanadi river in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district on Friday. Meanwhile, a search and rescue operation is continuing on Saturday, with at least one person unaccounted for.

boat capsize

On Saturday morning, six bodies were recovered, which increased the toll to seven after the remains of a woman were found late Friday night.

Earlier in the day, senior police officer Chintamani Pradhan confirmed to India Today TV that seven people were missing following the accident.

The boat was ferrying passengers from Bargarh district’s Bandhipali area. Midway through the journey, the boat encountered turbulent waters, leading it to capsize near Saradha Ghat in Jharsuguda.

Addressing reporters late on Friday, District Collector Kartikeya Goyal said the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) is continuing the search operation for the missing people with aid from the Jharsuguda district administration, as well as from the state government.

"We have received information that scuba divers will come from Bhubaneshwar to join the search operation. So far, we have rescued some 48 people and efforts are on to send them back to their villages," Goyal told reporters at the accident spot.

"Divers from the ODRAF are very well-trained, they have night light equipment. They will carry out one more attempt and will be joined by a team of scuba divers as soon as they arrive," he added.

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

A local BJP leader, Suresh Pujari, alleged the "boat was operating without a valid licence".

"It was not accorded a fitness certificate by the authorities concerned and there was no lifeguard on it," he was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency.

He also claimed that the boat was overcrowded and was carrying passengers beyond its capacity.

Meanwhile, district authorities said that the incident will be investigated.

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