Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 | Last Update : 07:19 PM IST

Assam: 20 feared dead after boat carrying 40 passengers capsizes

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Sep 6, 2018, 5:27 am IST
Updated : Sep 6, 2018, 7:27 am IST

The SDRF officials said that the country-made ferryboat accidentally hit the pillars, which led to the accident.

National Disaster Response Force personnel on boats search in the Brahmaputra river after a boat capsized on the outskirts of Guwahati on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)
 National Disaster Response Force personnel on boats search in the Brahmaputra river after a boat capsized on the outskirts of Guwahati on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)

Guwahati: In a tragic incident, at least 20 persons are feared drowned in the Brahmaputra river after a country boat carrying 40 passengers capsized near the Aswaklanta temple near Guwahati’s Fancy Bazar.

The mishap took place around 1.30 pm when the boat, popularly known as Bhutbhuti, developed a technical snag and subsequently collided with a pillar of an ongoing water supply project in the Brahmaputra.

The boat was moving towards Majbat, Madhayamkhanda in North Guwahati from Fancy Bazar ghat in the city.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have launched a massive search operation to rescue those missing. They, however, succeeded in recovering the bodies of a youth and a girl besides rescuing at least 12 passengers who were on the boat.

Pointing out that one of those two dead bodies is yet to be identified, the police said that the girl has been identified as 17-year-old Ankita Barua, a resident of Silasako village in North Guwahati. She was a higher secondary first-year student of Cotton University.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a high-level probe by an additional chief secretary Jishnu Baruah into the incident.

The SDRF officials said that the country-made ferryboat accidentally hit the pillars, which led to the accident.

The Brahmaputra is in spate due to monsoon rains in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh. Eyewitnesses said that they saw several passengers from the ferry trying to swim to the shore. The country-boat, which was loaded with passengers, was also carrying a motorcycle. Some of the survivors claimed that neither driver of the boat was trained nor the boat had any life jacket.

The police said that they have rescued 12 persons so far. Among those identified are Rajesh Saha (45), Piyushi Saha (4), Rinki Saha (28), Nuruddin (26), Jitumoni Das (38) and Minakhi Das (30).

Tags: brahmaputra river, national disaster response force, state disaster response force