The vessel was caught in a whirlpool in the swollen Kosi

With the recovery of three more bodies, the death toll in the boat mishap in the swollen Kosi river in Supaul district has climbed to 28, a senior official said on Thursday.

The three bodies were recovered late last night by local divers, while search was on to locate 22 missing persons, Deputy Development Commissioner, Jung Bahadur told PTI.

In addition to the local divers, those from the National Disaster Response Force have also been pressed into service to trace the missing persons, he said.

The cremation expenses of the victims would be borne by the State Government under the Kabir Cremation Scheme.

The country boat, ferrying 50 passengers for a ’Shradh’ ceremony, was caught in a whirlpool near Hari panchayat area and sank on Wednesday.

Local divers initially fished out 25 bodies, including that of three children, from the river and were trying to trace the missing persons, District Magistrate Kumar Ravi told PTI.

Darkness, rain

The local divers were being hindered by darkness and rain in their search for the missing passengers, he said.

In Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced an ex gratia of Rs. 1.5 lakh to the relatives of those killed. He said a national Disaster Response Force had rushed to the spot.

Senior officials, including Superintendent of Police S. Prasad, were camping at the spot to supervise operations.