25 feared dead after two boats capsize in Bihar
Over 25 people were feared dead after two boats capsized in swollen Gandak and Kosi rivers in Khagaria and Saharsa districts, respectively, Tuesday evening.
Khagaria district magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh and superintendent of police (SP), Meenu Kumari, who reached the Ekania Diyara ghat where the incident took place, had to face ire of locals over the alleged delay in launching rescue operations.
Police said the incident took place when a boat carrying 25 people was headed towards Ekania Diara. Eyewitnesses said the vessel capsized after it was caught in a severe storm.
Five persons, including boatmen, swam to safety and alerted officials about the accident, after which SDRF personnel was pressed into the service.
So far, only eight bodies have been recovered from the swollen Gandak river and most of the victims belonged to Sonbarsha village.
In the accident in Saharsa, a boat carrying 14 people capsized near Sahuri village near eastern Kosi embankment. While two bodies have been recovered, four people were missing still missing even as the remaining eight swam to safety. The incident occurred when villagers were returning home after collecting wheat and rice from a public distribution shop.
Four persons, including Sanjit Choudhary (22), Rajni Devi (20), Sobha Kumari (12) and a two-month-old baby, are still missing.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed his condolences to the aggrieved families victims and directed Khagaria and Saharsa DMs and SPs to engage experienced divers in the rescue operation.