30 Durga Puja revellers drown as boats capsize in Bihar


Patna : Over 30 Durga Puja revellers, mostly women and children, met a watery grave when the overloaded boats carrying them capsized in two separate incidents in Bihar, police said Tuesday. At least 40 passengers are missing.

Support TwoCircles

Both the accidents took place Monday evening.

In the first incident on Bagmati river, villagers were returning from a fair to mark the end of Durga Puja in Khagaria, about 200 km from here. The boat had a capacity of 30 people, but was carrying over 80 villagers.

“Till now, 21 bodies have been recovered; 15 of the passengers managed to swim to safety or were rescued but nearly 40 people are still missing,” Satish Chand Jha, a district administration official, told IANS.

More bodies are likely to be recovered in the next few hours, he added.

“Chances of survival of the missing people are remote as the boat capsized Monday evening. It has been over 12 hours, so we fear the worst,” another official said.

In the second accident, nine people were killed and one person was missing when a boat capsized in Kosi river in Darbhanga district, about 150 km from Patna.

“Nine bodies, mostly women and children, have been recovered. Eight of the people, all male, managed to swim to safety or were rescued, but one man is still missing,” an official in the Darbhanga district magistrate’s office said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a compensation of Rs.150,000 for the families of victims.

Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan expressed shock over the incidents. Both Lalu and Paswan were expected to visit Khagaria Wednesday.