Boat tragedy toll rises to 61 (Lead)June 15th, 2010 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, June 15 (IANS) The death toll in the boat capsize in Uttar Pradesh rose to 61 Tuesday as divers recovered more bodies from the Ganga, authorities said.
A day after a crowded boat sank in the river in Ballia district, police said that a search was still on in the hope of finding more bodies.
“A total of 61 bodies have been taken out. Some people could still be missing,” Additional Superintendent of Police Badri Nath Tiwari told IANS on telephone from Ballia, about 300 km from Lucknow.
The 61 dead include 19 men and women each and 23 children, Tiwari added.
According to police, those on the boat were going midstream to perform rituals for their children when the vessel went down. The tragedy came to light when some of its occupants managed to swim ashore.
Though the authorities believe there were around 65 people in the boat, the exact number is yet to be ascertained.
“It’s difficult to tell the exact number. Those on the boat were from different villages. After talking to survivors we estimate that there were around 65 people,” District Magistrate Senthil Pandiyan said.
Police have blamed the disaster on overloading.
“The boat could only ferry 25-30 people. But it had twice its capacity,” police inspector Shobhnath Yadav said.
Ram Sumer, 50, a survivor, complained that the vessel was old.
“The boat’s condition was very bad. It was an old one. When it flipped over, the boatman simply disappeared instead of saving us,” said Sumer.
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the families of each of the deceased.
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Tags: authorities, boatman, death toll, district magistrate, district police, exact number, lakh, men and women, midstream, occupants, police inspector, rituals, rs 1, sumer, superintendent, survivor, survivors, tragedy, uttar pradesh government, yadav