A boat carrying 23 persons capsized in the Ganga in Bihar’s Buxar district on Tuesday. By late evening and hours after the rescue operations began, around 12 were still missing, the district administration said.

“Most of those missing are women and children,” Raman Kumar, Buxar district magistrate, told The Hindu.

In the incident took place in the Chausa block around 4.30 p.m. The passengers on the boat were farm labourers who cross the river to work on the farms on a daily basis. Mr. Kumar said the boat was not overloaded, but it could have capsized owing to a strong river current.

The district administration tried to mobilise local divers to start the rescue operations. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be reaching the affected site.

Former chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi expressed their grief over the incident and demanded a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh for the families of the deceased.