8 die in boat mishap off Gujarat coast (Lead)

October 14th, 2008 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Jamnagar, Oct 14 (IANS) Eight people, including three women and three children, were killed and 20 injured when a boat carrying around 45 people sank off the coast of the Bedi port near Jamnagar in Gujarat Tuesday morning.The mishap occurred at 11.30 a.m. when the passengers, said to be pilgrims, were on their way to a dargah (shrine) at Pirotan Island, 22 km away.

Those injured have been taken to Jamnagar’s Guru Gobind Singh general hospital by the fire brigade and rescue team from the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). Initially the rescue work was carried out by local fishermen, the police said.

Officials who had earlier announced the death toll to be 10, revised the number of deaths to eight.

The dead include Hushena Anwar (35), Kulsum Hasam (30), Ameena Habib (45), Amir Zafar (6), Abbas Salim (6), Salim Haji Hasam (5) and Hussein Salim (20).

About 250 persons were visiting the dargah situated in the middle of the island and four boats had already left the Bedi port. As soon as the ill-fated boat sank, the other boats were recalled.

Boats from Bedi port take about two hours to reach the Pirotan island. Since the beach is very shallow, the boats can reach the island only during high tide.

Most visitors to Pirotan island came in the morning with the high tide prevailing due to full moon.

Pirotan island was originally known as Pir jo thaan meaning the place of the holy Saint Khwaja Khizer Alaihisalaam.

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