At least 12 go missing as boat capsizes in Bihar

The boat was said to be carrying over 30 people, including several school going children, overturned mid-stream in the Bagmati at Madhupur Patti ghat in Muzaffarpur district

Updated - September 14, 2023 11:26 pm IST

Published - September 14, 2023 05:30 pm IST - Patna

Locals gather near an area after a boat carrying 30 children capsized in Bagmati river in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on September 14, 2023.

Locals gather near an area after a boat carrying 30 children capsized in Bagmati river in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on September 14, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

At least 12 people, including six children, have gone missing after a boat capsized on September 14 in river Bagmati in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. The missing children were said to be crossing river on boat to attend their school located on the other side of the river. Rescue operation was launched and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the government would provide all adequate assistance to the affected families in the incident.

The boat was said to be carrying over 30 people, including several school going children, overturned mid-stream in river Bagmati at Madhupur Patti ghat in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar.

Soon after the incident, separate teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) launched rescue operation in the river.

“Nearly 20 people have been rescued yet and some more are said to missing. Our rescue operation is currently going on”, said NDRF official Randhir Singh.

“The NDRF and SDRF teams are engaged in rescue operations and it will continue. Senior district administration officials are camping at the incident site”, said Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Pranav Kumar.

However, a senior district official camping at the incident site denied to local media persons that the missing children were going to attend their school located on the other side of the river. “I spoke to the school teachers and authorities and they denied that the children were coming to the school today. The children were not in school uniform”, he said while preferring anonymity.

But, the local villagers asserted that since the education department has come out with a recent directive that 75% attendance for school children are must in the school, the children were on boat to attend their classes when the boat capsized mid-stream. The other children who were rescued in the incident too said the missing children were going to attend the school.

“If the government had constructed a river bridge here for which we’ve been demanding since long from the public representatives and the district officials, this incident would not have happened and loss of several children from the village could have been averted”, a villager Saryu Rai said.  

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while speaking to media persons, said that senior district officials have been “directed to reach the spot and the state government will provide all adequate assistance to the affected families”. “Rescue operation is on at the incident site”, said Mr Kumar.

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