At least 50 missing after boat capsizes in Brahmaputra in Assam
Guwahati, September 8, 2021
At least 50 people, including women, were missing after a big boat capsized, following a collision with another boat, in the Brahmaputra on Wednesday at Neamatighat in Jorhat district of Assam, officials said.
Police said that the boat was travelling from Neamatighat to Kamalabari ferry point in Majuli "island" while the other was Neamatighat-bound.
Jorhat district police chief Ankur Jain said that the police and the disaster management personnel located the capsized boat about 350 metres from the riverbank.
"We have rescued around 20 people on board the boat from various places downstream. However, around 50 people are missing till late evening," he told the media adding that the searches for the missing people are on.
The other boat somehow stayed afloat and the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel rescued all people on board, the police official said.
Among those rescued from the capsized boat, the condition of a woman was critical and she was taken to the medical college hospital in Jorhat.
Officials said about 30 two-wheelers onboard the capsized ferry went underwater.
Boat ferries are the only mode of communication between river island Majuli and Jorhat district and the transport over the river is often hazardous and risky specially during the monsoon months (June to September) when the mighty Brahmaputra remains swollen.
Majuli, the world's biggest river island, is accessible by road from the northern bank of the Brahmaputra for most part of the year.
An official statement said that Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who expressed his deep shock and concern over the boat accident, directed the administration of Majuli and Jorhat districts to undertake rescue missions expeditiously with the help of NDRF and SDRF. The Chief Minister, who would visit Nimati Ghat on Thursday for evaluating the situation, also directed Power Minister Bimal Bora to immediately visit the incident site to take stock of the situation. He asked his Principal Secretary, Samir Kumar Sinha to monitor the developments round-the-clock.