KOLKATA: A mechanised boat ferrying 35 to 36 odd passengers capsized in Rupnarayan river in East Midnapore district on Monday. Thirty-five passengers were rescued and searches are on to find out whether any other passenger was swept away.
According to the police, the mishap took place at Mahishadal in the morning. "The country-boat left the jetty and hit a sand-head in the tidal river. Suddenly a high tide impounded downstream flowing freshwater, reversing the flow and increasing the water level of the river. The boat was hit and it capsized,’’ said a police officer.
The police said the boat was ferrying passengers beyond its capacity. "No safety measure was available in the boat as well. Our teams are carrying out search operations to find out the passengers, including women, who fell into the river," said another police officer.
As the news of the boat capsize spread, policemen from adjoining Howrah district’s Shyampur police station, on the other side of the road, engaged their teams to take part in the search operations. "It seems the missing passengers were swept away by the high tide," said an officer of Shyampur police station.
"We are taking help from coast guard personnel. A hovercraft has been engaged to carry out search operation. Those who were rescued were said to be in stable condition by the authorities of the local healthcare units where they were taken," said V Soloman Nesakumar, superintendent of police, East Midnapore district.