Mahanadi boat tragedy: 5 more bodies recovered, death toll rises to 7 - Hindustan Times
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Mahanadi boat tragedy: 5 more bodies recovered, death toll rises to 7

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 20, 2024 06:15 PM IST

a country boat carrying around 50 people from a village of Chhatisgarh’s Raigarh district capsized just a few hundred metres away from the river bank in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district

The death toll in the boat tragedy in the upper streams of Mahanadi river in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district on Friday afternoon rose to seven after divers and rescue personnel fished out five more bodies even as one person went missing.

Police said the search operation is still in progress to trace one more person. (Representative Image/PTI)
Police said the search operation is still in progress to trace one more person. (Representative Image/PTI)

Jharsuguda superintendent of police Smit S Parmar said on Saturday that the bodies of five more persons were fished out from the river a day after a country boat carrying around 50 people from a village of Chhatisgarh’s Raigarh district capsized just a few hundred metres away from the river bank. On Friday evening, bodies of a 40-year-old woman and a teenge boy was fished out of the river by the scuba divers of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force.

“One person is still missing,” said the SP.

Three of the deceased have been identified as Radhika Nisad (40) and teenagers Pikeswar Kathia and Naveen Rathia. The identities of the other deceased are still being ascertained.

Police said 50 persons from Kotrelia and Kharsia villages of Raigarh had come to attend a social function at the house of one Gangaram Lohar of Kotrelia on Friday. After the function, they took a boat to a temple in Bargarh district’s Patharseni island of the river where they sacrificed a goat. After offering prayers, they were returning to Saradha

ghat of Odisha’s Jharsuguda district when their boat capsized just a few hundred metres away from the river bank.

On hearing their screams, local fishermen and boatmen jumped into the river and managed to save most of the passengers. However, eight persons could not be traced immediately.

The rescued included a three-month-old infant and several kids. Two of the rescued persons, who suffered injuries, were shifted to the local hospital.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of 4 lakh each for the kin of the deceased. The search operation is still in progress to trace one more person.

In February 2014, at least 31 picknickers had drowned to death in Hirakud reservoir of Mahanadi when an overloaded boat carrying about 135 people capsized on its way back from an island. The picnic party was organised by the Lions Club of Sambalpur. The passengers tried to drain out the water from the boat unsuccessfully. Many of the passengers also jumped off the boat in panic. Later, the state government arrested the Lions Club president over his negligence that resulted in the tragedy.

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