NDRF rescues 15 as boat capsizes in Bihar’s flood-hit Sitamarhi district
Miraculously for the passengers, an NDRF team was nearby when their boat capsized in the Lakhandei river.
In a dramatic three-hour search-and-rescue operation Thursday evening, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) saved 15 people after their country boat capsized in Bihar’s flood-hit Sitamarhi district.
A team of NDRF received a distress message at 6:07 pm on Thursday, just as it was returning to its base near Behra village in Pupri sub-division of Sitamarhi district after winding up its operation for the day.
The NDRF team, which was close by, immediately rushed to the accident site on their motorised inflatable boats. With passengers of the capsized boat already scattered by the raging water of the Lakhandei river which had overflown its banks, 12 NDRF rescuers plunged into the river and rescued six men, four women and five children.
Commandant of the 9th batallion, NDRF, in Patna, Vijay Sinha said, “The team initially recued 14 people. One person trapped in nearby bushes in an inundated area near the village was also eventually rescued after a search.”
He said the team continued its search for more victims till 9.20pm before calling it off after the sub-divisional magistrate of the area confirmed that all 15 people on the ill-fated boat had been rescued.
Around 120 people have already lost their lives due to floods in 15 of Bihar’s 38 districts, affecting a population of over 72 lakh.
Meanwhile, at least five engineers of the water resources department (WRD) are facing the heat for dereliction of duty in Sitamarhi, Darbhanga and West Champaran (Padrauna) districts. “We are monitoring the performance of all our engineers. We will take uniform and severest action against those found to be wanting in their responsibility,” said a senior WRD officer, requesting anonymity.