The Ganesha immersion tragedy has assumed huge proportions with eight more bodies of young men being fished out by the authorities on Thursday, taking the toll up to 13.

As per the Fire Department, almost all the deceased were youth who had gone to the river for the immersion of idols of Ganesha on Wednesday.

The incident has also exposed the lack of proper arrangements by the Delhi Government for the religious ceremony. One after the other, the youth got swept away in the river current but there was no coordinated effort to rescue them. Also the lack of availability of proper lighting on the ghats and the darkness of the polluted water did not help the matters.

On Wednesday evening, as word spread that a large number of youth had got washed away in the river water, the authorities began searching for them. While about a dozen lives were saved, about a score of youth remained unaccounted for.

Due to darkness, the rescue operation was called off around 9 p.m. on Wednesday. By then five bodies had been recovered in the Wazirabad area.

The search for the other missing youth resumed on Thursday morning and as more bodies were pulled out across the length of the river, the magnitude of the tragedy unfolded.

Eight bodies were recovered during the day, taking the toll up to 13. With three more youth still missing, the count could go even higher.

The deceased whose bodies were located in Kudsia ghat and Wazirabad have been identified Jitendra, Gaurav, Jyotir, Rahul, Rajesh, Yashwant, Bhagat and Sunny. All the bodies were handed over to the relatives by the authorities on completion of formalities. The divers had earlier on Wednesday fished out the bodies of Yogesh, Rajesh, Toshi, Rahul and Kale.

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