The death toll in the boat capsize in Mahananda river bordering West Bengal and Bihar
rose to nine and on Saturday (October 5) after five more bodies were recovered by rescue teams and over 20 are still missing, a police officer said.
The bodies were fished out from the river at Chanchal area in Malda district of West Bengal on Saturday morning, Malda Superintendent of Police Alok Rajoria said. NDRF and SDRF were carrying out search operations, he said.
Four bodies had been fished out from the river bordering Katihar district in Bihar and Malda district in West Bengal since Thursday. Out of the nine deceased, two were residents of Bihar, while seven were from West Bengal, Rajoria said.
A total of nine people were admitted to a hospital in Malda district after they were rescued, the District Magistrate (DM) of Malda, Kaushik Bhattacharya had said.
A boat carrying close to 80 people had capsized in the river on Thursday (October 3) when residents of Wajidpur village in Bihar were returning after shopping in Rampur Haat market of the adjoining state, situated right across the river.
Deputy Superintendent of Police of Bihars Barsoi, Pankaj Kumar, had said on Friday, “Prima facie, it appears to be a case of overloading. The boat had a capacity of 40 passengers but was carrying almost double the number.
“Many of those riding the boat either swam to safety or were rescued by onlookers. About two dozen people are yet to be traced. Professional divers have been deployed for the purpose.”
(With inputs from agencies)