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19 die in Bihar boat tragedy

Patna: At least 19 people were drowned, including some minors, when a boat capsized on the Ganga here today, suspectedly because of overloading.

“So far 19 persons have been reported to be dead in the boat tragedy,” Principal Secretary, Disaster Management department Pratyay Amrit told PTI.

Efforts are on to look for possible survivors and bodies.

Amrit, DIG Shalin and Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal are camping at the river bank, close to which the tragedy occurred, to supervise the rescue operation.

Around 40 people were said to be onboard the country boat when it capsized near NIT ghat in the evening.

The passengers were returning to Ranighat in Patna from Sabalpur diara across the river after watching a kite festival on occasion of ‘Makar Sankranti’.

A few on the ill-fated boat swam to safety, while some families said their fellow members had gone missing after the accident.

Family members of the deceased and those missing were seen wailing at the ghat.

Sources said the tragedy was suspected to have been caused by overloading.