Ballia (UP): At least 45 people, mostly
women and children, drowned when an overcrowded boat capsized
in Ganga river in Dubahar area here on Monday.
The boat was carrying about 60 people to a private
function when it sunk this morning, in perhaps one of the
worst such tragedies in the state.
"Rescuers found 45 bodies till late in the evening. Among
the dead were 17 children, 14 women and 14 men," Superintendent
of Police B N Tiwari said.
He said 17 people were either rescued or managed to swim
to safety. A few more people were missing.
The occupants, mainly from four families in Ujveria
village, were proceeding from Ojhawalia ghat to attend a
family function on the other side of the river, Additional
Director General of Police Brij Lal said.
A magisterial inquiry was ordered into the cause of the
mishap even as a senior officer said prima facie it was a case
"The inquiry will be conducted by additional DM A K
Dwiwedi. An FIR will also be lodged against the driver of the
vessel," District Magistrate C Senthil Pandiyan said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mayawati announced an ex-gratia
of Rs 1 lakh each to the kin of those killed in the mishap.
The chief minister directed officials to carry out rescue
and relief operation on a war footing.
Governor B L Joshi also condoled the deaths.