Malda: Three bodies have been recovered and around 12 people were missing when a boat capsized in the river Ganga in Malda district of West Bengal on Friday.
Five more bodies have reportedly been spotted by the villagers on Friday. The victims were going to an island in the Ganges for agricultural purposes.
The boat carrying around 50-55 people mostly daily labourers and farmers capsized in midstream in inclement weather after it left Dharampur for the char (riverine island), Malda District Magistrate G Kiran Kumar said.
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 alongwith West Bengal minister Sabitra Mitra rushed to spot to supervise rescue operations being carried out by the district
administration alongwith civil defence personnel.
Kumar said a Disaster Management team was coming to Malda from Kolkata to carry out rescue operation. Three camps have also been opened at Dharampur, Panchanandapur and Farakka
downstream of the river.
The District Magistrate also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the two decased.
With additional information from PTI