Death toll in UP boat tragedy rises to 62

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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