Boat capsizes in Sunderbans, 100 missing | india | Hindustan Times
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Boat capsizes in Sunderbans, 100 missing

india Updated: Oct 31, 2010 01:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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A mechanised boat capsized with about 125 people on board on Saturday afternoon in the Sunderbans area. Till 7.30 in the evening, only 15 bodies could be recovered.

Chances of the missing being alive seem to be increasingly remote due to darkness and the strong currents at the spot and the disaster management team could reach only after 4.30 pm.

"The Navy has been called in while Coast Guard vessels are helping in the rescue operations. The search would continue all night," said Siddhinath Gupta, deputy inspector general, presidency range.

A defence ministry spokesperson said navy divers from Eastern Naval headquarters at Visakhapatnam have been sent to the spot for rescue operations.

The incident took place between 12 noon and 1.00 pm at a spot about 2.5 km away from Ghoramara Island in the Sunderbans, 120 km to the south of Kolkata, when the trawler was returning to Kakdwip from Hijli Shariff, a religious place near Khejuri in East Midnapore.

"These people came to Hijli on October 28 and was on their way back to Kakdwip after attending a religious festival. Eight boats were going back and one of those capsized," said Ranjit Mondol, zilla sabhadipati of East Midnapore.

Shabina Sheikh, zilla sabhadipati of South 24 Parganas, who declared a Rs 1-lakh compensation for the family members of each victim, said, "The cause of the accident is still unclear, but overloading the boat may be one of the reasons that we would look into."

The tragedy occurred barely two and a half months after a boat carrying pilgrims capsized in the Muri Ganga at Kakdwip, leading to the death of 20 people.