Death toll in UP boat tragedy rises to 62
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 21:26
  
Ballia: The death toll in the tragic boat mishap in UP's Dubahar area rose to 62 today with the recovery of 17 more bodies.

The boat carrying villagers, mainly from four families in Ujveria, was proceeding from Ojhawalia ghat to attend a family function on the other side of the river when it capsized yesterday morning.

"17 more bodies have been fished out from Ganga river by rescue workers. Among the dead include 25 children, 20 men and 17 women," District Magistrate Santhil Pandiyan told reporters here.

The search operation was continuing till late in the evening, police said.

14-year-old survivor Rani said "nearly 100 people" were on the boat when it capsized.

"The boat started sinking a few minutes after it left the bank and many people jumped from the vessel in a bid to save their lives. As I knew swimming I too jumped off the board," she said.

Shubha Misha of Dubahar claimed that the boatman did not pay any heed to their request to return to the bank even when water started seeping in.

"When water started leaking into the boat, a number of passengers asked the boatman to return but he refused saying nothing will happen," she said.

"The boatman loaded more people then the boat capacity to which some people objected, but he did not pay any heed resulting in the tragic incident," another survivor Chandarwati of Naseerabad village said.

Yogendra Yadav (20), who managed to swim to safety, said the boat was old and in a dilapidated condition.

"When water started seeping in, we attempted to empty the vessel, but it overturned soon," he recalled.

Rescuers had found 45 bodies till late last night.

Police said 17 people were either rescued or managed to swim to safety.

A magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the cause of the mishap. "The inquiry will be conducted by additional D M A K Dwiwedi. An FIR will also be lodged against the driver of the vessel," District Magistrate C Senthil Pandiyan had said.

Chief Minister Mayawati had announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh each to the kin of those killed in the mishap.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 21:26


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