Six more bodies found day after boat capsized in Odisha, toll at eight | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Six more bodies found day after boat capsized in Odisha, toll at eight

ByDebabrata Mohanty, Bhubaneswar
Apr 21, 2024 07:53 AM IST

The toll has reached to 8 in the capsizing incident in the upper streams of Mahanadi river in Jharsuguda, after the rescue personnel fished out 5 more bodies

A day after a country boat carrying 50 people capsized in the upper streams of Mahanadi river in Jharsuguda district, the death toll rose to eight on Saturday as divers and rescue personnel fished out six more bodies. Among the bodies recovered, five are women and three children, officials aware of the matter said.

Police have so far identified three deceased.(PTI/Representational image)
Police have so far identified three deceased.(PTI/Representational image)

The boat, which was returning from a temple on Patharseni island in Bargarh district to Saradha ghat in Jharsuguda district, capsized just a few hundred metres away from the river bank on Friday afternoon, they added.

“The passengers on the boat belonged to Raigarh in Chhattisgarh. Two bodies — a 40-year-old woman and a teenaged boy — were fished out by scuba divers of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force by Friday evening,” said Jharsuguda superintendent of police Smit S Parmar.

Police have so far identified three deceased — Radhika Nisad (40) as well as teenagers Pikeswar Kathia and Naveen Rathia. The identities of the other deceased people are yet to be ascertained, officials said.

Nearly 50 people from the Kotrelia and Kharsia villages of Raigarh visited the house of a Kotrelia resident, Gangaram Lohar, to attend a social function on Friday. After the event, they took the boat to the temple on Patharseni island where they sacrificed a goat. After offering prayers, they were returning to Saradha ghat when the boat tragedy took place, officials said.

On hearing the screams of the victims, local fishermen and boatmen jumped into the river and managed to save most of the passengers. Among those rescued included a three-month-old infant and several other children. However, eight people could not be traced immediately, they added.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of 4 lakh each for the kin of the deceased.

President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday said that she is distressed to learn about the loss of lives in the boat accident and offered her condolences to the bereaved families.

“Distressed to learn that the capsize of a boat in the Mahanadi river near Jharsuguda, Orissa, led to the loss of many lives. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for a speedy recovery of all those affected by the tragedy,” Murmu said in a post on X.

In February 2014, at least 31 picknickers drowned in Hirakud reservoir of Mahanadi as the boat, which they were travelling in and was overloaded with 135 people, capsized on its way back from an island. The picnic was organised by the Lions Club of Sambalpur. Several passengers jumped off the boat in panic. Later, the state government arrested the Lions Club president over negligence that resulted in the tragedy.

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