Assam boat accident: Army to join rescue operations today | 10 points
The Centre has assured all help to Assam government in rescuing people after a boat accident in Jorhat which left one woman dead and four other persons missing. Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday spoke to Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the phone and said the central government is continuously monitoring the situation.
Biswa expressed his gratitude to the home minister for extending the help.
The head-on accident between a larger government vessel (which belonged to the state's inland water transport) and a smaller private ferry occurred around 4pm on Wednesday, roughly 100m from the Nematighat bank in Jorhat district. The boat sank in the Brahmaputra; officials said the water level in the river is high due to monsoon rains.
Here are the latest updates about the ongoing rescue operation:
1. The woman who died has been identified as Porimita Das from Guwahati. She was working as a faculty in a college in Majuli.
2. Three injured people are undergoing treatment at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, a doctor said.
3. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is engaged in the rescue operation and its chief Satya Narayan Pradhan said that there were 120 people onboard the two boats.
4. The Army will join the operations on Thursday with some advanced machines, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ashok Barman said.
5. Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at least 42 people have been rescued and the capsized boat has been located 1.5 kilometres away from the spot. Sarma will visit Nimati Ghat on Thursday, according to a statement from his office.
6. Meanwhile, three officials of the inland water transport (IWT) department have been placed under suspension for alleged negligence of duty, while senior ministers admitted that there were lapses and the "guilty" will be punished, news agency PTI reported.
7. Assam power minister Bimal Bora, who reached Nematighat on Wednesday night, said, "There must be some lapses. Otherwise, this accident would not have taken place. These all will be looked into in the coming days."
8. The Assam Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) has opened helpline numbers to disseminate information related to the accident. These are 1070, 1079 and 1077.
9. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the boat accident. "My thoughts go out to the victims, survivors and their families. Rescue and relief efforts are on to save as many lives as possible,” Kovind said on Twitter on Wednesday.
10. Expressing deep concern over the accident, PM Modi assured all help from the Centre in the rescue operation and said that he is with the people of Assam in this hour of distress