2 dead, 14 missing as boat capsizes

It was carrying 50-55 people of whom many were labourers, farmers

2 dead, 14 missing as boat capsizes

Two persons, a man and a woman, drowned and around 14 others were missing when a boat capsized in the river Ganga in West Bengal’s Malda district on Friday.

The boat carrying around 50-55 people, mostly daily labourers and farmers, capsized midstream in inclement weather after it left Dharampur for the “char” (riverine island), Malda District Magistrate G Kiran Kumar told sources.

Two bodies have been recovered while 14 persons had gone missing. The District Magistrate said 31 people swam to safety while six others were rescued by the local people.
Earlier reports had said that four persons had died and more than 40 were missing. Kumar said the weather was very bad and there were strong winds when the boat capsized.

The District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police along with West Bengal minister Sabitra Mitra rushed to the spot to supervise rescue operations being carried out by the district administration along with civil defence personnel.

Kumar said a disaster management team had come to Malda from Kolkata to carry out the rescue operation. Three camps have also been opened at Dharampur, Panchanandapur and Farakka downstream.

The District Magistrate also announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh to the next of kin of the two decased.

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