Several people are feared dead after two boats carrying about 120 passengers collided in the Brahmputra river in Jorhat on Wednesday. According to NDRF DG, “many passengers” have gone missing. Meanwhile, a rescue operation is underway.
The accident occurred when the private boat ‘Ma Kamala’ was headed to Majuli from Nimati Ghat and the government-owned ferry ‘Tripkai’ was coming from the riverine island.
“Two boats carrying approximately 120 passengers collided in the Brahmaputra river in Jorhat today, many passengers missing; rescue operation underway,” DG NDRF Satya N. Pradhan said.
Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ashok Barman told PTI that 41 people have been rescued so far and bodies of people suspected to have died in the crash are yet to be recovered.
“We cannot say right now how many people have died,” a senior official of Jorhat district administration said.
Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF have started a search and rescue operation.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he was “pained” at the tragic boat accident. Sarma directed Majuli and Jorhat administration to undertake rescue operation expeditiously.
“I am pained at the tragic boat accident near Nimati Ghat, Jorhat. Directed Majuli & Jorhat admin to undertake rescue mission expeditiously with help of @NDRFHQ & SDRF. Advising Min @BimalBorahbjp to immediately rush to the accident site. I’ll also visit Nimati Ghat tomorrow,” the chief minister wrote on Twitter.
Sarma said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had called him to enquire about the accident and took an update on the rescue operations.
“Adarniya HM Sri @AmitShah had kindly called to enquire about the accident in Nimati Ghat and took an update on the rescue operations and conditions of those rescued so far. He said the Central Government is ready to lend all possible help. Grateful to him,” the CM said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter and said: “Saddened by the boat accident in Assam. All possible efforts are being made to rescue the passengers. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being.”