Capsize toll rises to 25, sunken trawler located

Seven more bodies were found during search operations on Sunday, taking the toll to 25 in the sinking of an overcrowded trawler with pilgrims on board near Talpatty island in the Hooghly river.

Updated: Oct 31, 2010, 20:44 PM IST

Kolkata: Seven more bodies were found during search operations on Sunday, taking the toll to 25 in the sinking of an overcrowded trawler with pilgrims on board near Talpatty island in the Hooghly river.

The seven bodies were found during the search operations and the sunken trawler located at Ghoramara island by personnel of the Kolkata Port Trust and the Coast Guards,
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Karpurakayastha told reporters here.

The trawler, which sank yesterday while sailing from Hijli Sharif in East Midnapore district to Kakdwip in South Parganas was located today with the help of echo sounding
machines.

Three persons who had escaped the sinking yesterday by swimming to safety reported to the police today, he said.

Karpurakayastha said search operations were called off for the day and would resume in the morning and would be carried on for a few more days.

The number of missing could not be ascertained as it was not known how many were on the trawler, he said adding that the families of those who were missing should report to
the SDO Kakdwip.

Of the passengers on board, 50 persons were rescued and were sent to hospital from where they were later discharged, Karpurakayastha said.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reached Lot No 8 and inquired about the search operation from officials. He also visited the Kakdwip Hospital.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was also scheduled to visit the spot.

Sunderban Development minister Kanti Ganguly, Civil Defence Minister Srikumar Mukherjee and union ministers CM Jatua and Mukul Roy supervised the operations.

A small aircraft of the Coast Guard made an aerial search of the area of the sinking during the day.

Eight speedboats of the Civil Defence Department besides hovercraft of the Coast Guard scoured the waters with a 40 member team of the state disaster management force
lending a hand, sources said.

Earlier in the day, angry villagers from Kakdwip blocked the National Highway 117 to protest the taking of eight bodies yesterday to the Diamond Harbour Hospital instead
of the Kakdwip Hospital.

They blocked the car of the Civil Defence minister, but allowed it to leave after he assured that the bodies would be taken to Kakdwip from Diamond Harbour after postmortem.

PTI