Piece of wood helps boy survive after boat tragedy

October 31st, 2010 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Oct 31 (IANS) A piece of wood from a capsized trawler in West Bengal provided a lifeline to a 15-year-old boy, who floated in the Muriganga river for 24 hours by clinging on to it till he was rescued Sunday morning.

Tajuddin Molla of Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas had boarded the ill-fated vessel with his mother and elder sister from Hijli Sharif in East Midnapore Saturday.

The trawler, ferrying mainly Muslim pilgrims to Kakdwip, capsized in the mouth of the Muriganga river where it empties in the Bay of Bengal Saturday morning.

“As the trawler was drowning, several wooden pieces broke away from it. I was thrown into the river. I found one wooden plank near me and clung on to it,” said Tajuddin.

“Minutes and hours ticked by. At times I thought I would not survive. At times my hand slackened. But I knew the wooden piece was my only passport to life. So I somehow held on to it. At last this (Sunday) morning some fishermen spotted me near Nandigram in East Midnapore district. And they rescued me,” he said.

However, he is yet to receive any news about his mother and sister. About 100 people who boarded the ill-fated trawlers are sill missing.

So far, 23 bodies of those who drowned in the capsize have been recovered.

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