Assam boat tragedy: 5 more bodies recovered



Dhubri: Divers on Wednesday fished out bodies of five passengers of Monday's ferry disaster here, taking the death count to 108, but the fate of at least 250 was still unknown.

Indian and Bangladeshi officials will tomorrow discuss the issue of recovery and repatriation of bodies of ill-fated passengers.

There were reports that four bodies have been recovered at the banks of the river in Bangladesh. However, there has been no confirmation from either side in this regard.

The ill-fated ferry, owned by one Syed Ali, has been found have been running without a legal permit. Inland Waterways officials said the machine-operated ferry was constructed way back in 1994.

Meanwhile, search and rescue mission continued for the third day as over 250 persons remained untraced and only 22 bodies recovered so far.

"Three bodies were recovered this morning, while two more were fished out in the afternoon. As of now, 42 people have been registered as missing," Dhubri SP Pradip Chandra Saloi said.

The ferry, which capsized after being hit by a storm, was carrying around 380 passengers. While around 80 persons swam ashore, others are feared either missing or dead.

"As per our data, 22 bodies have been recovered," state Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said, during a visit to the disaster site.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi flew down to Medartary ghat of Dhubri district, the site of the accident, this afternoon and took stock of the situation.

However, the victim's families said that Gandhi's visit, instead of being a balm, had resulted in hampering the search operation.

PTI