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At least 15 persons were feared drowned after an overloaded boat carrying over 30 passengers capsized in Wainganga river near Umarwada Ghat, some 150 kms from Nagpur in Gondia district, in eastern Maharashtra on Wednesday.
Five bodies were fished out and search and rescue operation was on, when the reports last came in late in the evening. Two persons who were rescued were admitted to the sub-district hospital at Tiroda near Gondia.
Senior district officials, including the collector, Amit Saini have rushed to the spot and were monitoring the rescue operation.
According to information, a small boat carrying about 30 villagers from Tumsar and Mohadi tehsil was coming to Ghatkuroda village of Tiroda tehsil for attending Mandai Mela. The overcrowded boat turned turtle in the middle of the river around 6.00pm, reports said.
According to eye-witnesses, majority of the passengers feared drowned were in their 30’s and most of them were women.
Bhandara district superintendent of police, Arti Singh, Tiroda tehsilder Kalyankumar Dahat, police inspector Pramod Madame and Tumsar tehsilder Chandrabhan Khandait and their teams rushed to the spot and started rescue operations with the help of villagers. The place is some 18 kms from Tiroda town.
Dahat confirmed recovery of five bodies which includes two from Tumsar and three from the neighbouring villages. The deceased were identified as Vishal Rajesh Deshkar (16) resident of Chotta Gondia, Poornima Tarachand Bagde (15) resident of Umarwada village and Kailash Tejram Kamble (27) of Tumsar.
Identity of the other deceased is yet to be ascertained.