A boat capsized in the Uppanar River near Cuddalore killing three persons, others were rescued and admitted at the Cuddalore Government Hospital. Twenty persons were on the boat when the accident happened.
People of Nochikadu went to the Sangolikuppam village to participate in a festival at the Amman temple. After the musical orchestra and drama festival concluded, people of Nochikadu got onto a boat to cross the river and return home around 4.30 am. Their village is 5 km away by road.
A bridge is being constructed over the river to help people reach their village faster.
The boat capsized while returning because of overload. All passengers on the boat had to struggle since it was dark and difficult to help each other.
Two women, Ambika (25) and Loganayagi (75), drowned and their bodies were recovered. The body of Nadanasabapathy (14) was missing till evening.
Locals and fire department personnel searched all day long and they found the body around 4.30 pm.
Twelve persons were taken to the government hospital. Villupuram range DIG Shanmugavel, DSP Vanitha, Minister M C Sampath visited the spot.
Sampath, VCK’s Thamaraiselvan, PMK’s Thamaraikannan and MDMK’s Ramalingam met the victims in the hospital.
Last year, the same boat, carrying school children, had capsized in the same river but close to the bank, because of which all the students were rescued.
Sampath said, “The bridge work is still pending. I will consult with the PWD minister and the contractors regarding this. I assure that the bridge work will be completed soon.”
Pazhaniammal (60) of Nochikadu, who was on the boat when the accident took place, rescued four of her grandchildren but could not rescue her daughter.
“When the boat capsized, I held the two children, Dinesh (8) and Ganesh (4), and brought them to the river bank which was around 40 metres away. Then I went back to rescue the other two children, Athilakshmi (5) and Divya (2). Somebody was holding them in water. All the children were born to my first daughter Ambika.
“While I swam towards the bank for the second time, I heard my second daughter, Rathika, shouting for help. But when I prepared to go back into the river, I saw somebody carrying Ambika’s body,” Pazhaniammal said.