Eleven persons drowned and 15 others were missing when their overcrowded boat sank in the Punpun river near Behrampur village in Patna district on Sunday.
Director-General of Police Neelmani said the boat was carrying 55 passengers from Bharochokia village in the Pipra police station area to a fair at Naubatpur in Patna district.
All the 11 bodies, including those of four women and three children, have been fished out from the river bed. The rest of the passengers other than the 15 missing swam to safety, the DGP said.
A massive search operation has been launched with the help of trained divers to locate the missing passengers. Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force have also been rushed from Patna to join the rescue operation.
Senior officials, including District Magistrate J K Sinha, are overseeing the rescue operation. Official sources said the state Disaster Management Department has announced compensation of Rs one lakh for dependents of each of the drowned.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed sorrow over the deaths and extended condolences to the bereaved families. Kumar has also asked the state Disaster Management Department and the district administration to intensify rescue and relief work, an official release said.