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Boat tragedy: Can’t confirm whether any Indian aboard, say officials

With no concrete information available so far, the authorities have no clue about the exact location where a boat capsized near Panama a few days ago.

punjab Updated: Jan 20, 2016 23:05 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Boat tragedy

Officials of the Indian embassy in Colombia have received information about a boat sinking in the sea between the two countries a few days ago. However, they have not been able to confirm whether any Indian was aboard that vessel or not.(HT Photo)

With no concrete information available so far, the authorities have no clue about the exact location where a boat capsized near Panama a few days ago.

Officials of the Indian embassy in Colombia have received information about a boat sinking in the sea between the two countries a few days ago. However, they have not been able to confirm whether any Indian was aboard that vessel or not.

An official, pleading anonymity, told HT that the boat carrying 26 persons overturned on way to Colombia from Panama.

“The local government has told us that a boat capsized in the sea off the Colombian coast. Of the 26 persons, nine managed to survive as they were offered timely help by a boat passing by,” said the official.

Among survivors include 4 Nepal nationals, 2 Siberian nationals, one Pakistani and one Sri Lankan. The nationality of the ninth survivor is yet to be revealed. “We are trying to ascertain details from Colombian authorities,” said Gaurav Kumar Thakur, an official in Indian embassy in Colombia. “As soon as we get concrete information, we will share it with the ministry of external affairs,” he added.

AAP MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Maan, who is presently in California on a personal tour, said he was in touch with Indian officials in Columbia.

“The boat sank near a place called Chaamba in the Colombian sea. An official in the Indian Embassy in Colombia has told me that authorities have not been able to find the bodies of 15 people who are feared to have been drowned. All survivors are in Colombian navy’s custody. The embassy is not clear if any Indian was aboard the vessel.” the MP told HT over phone.

Maan said he would visit Colombia in the coming days.

“Both embassies have told me there is no Indian among survivors. Now, we have to ascertain the claims of “survivor” Jaswinder Singh Sonu who reportedly called up his family and said two youths of Kapurthala have lost their lives the tragedy,” said Maan.