Patna: At least 12 persons, including four women and five children, died by drowning in the Ganga and Bagmati rivers in separate incidents in Patna and Samastipur districts on Sunday morning. The places of the two incidents are around 100 km apart by road.
The bodies of 12 persons have been recovered, including of nine from the river Ganga near Fatuha in Patna district, and of the three others from a stream of Bagmati river in the Warisnagar area of Samastipur district.
CM Nitish Kumar expressed shock over the death of the persons who died in the two boat mishaps. Joint secretary in the disaster management department (DMD) Anirudh Kumar said that the district administrations concerned would immediately pay Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the next kin of each of the deceased. “The DMD would release the amount paid to the next kin of the dead,” he added.
The Samastipur SP Deepak Ranjan said the incident occurred in the tributary of Bagmati river that passes through the district, when the overcrowded boat they were travelling by got unbalanced, as the waters of the stream at the point of incident were shallow. “Otherwise, people cross it by walking during the lean period,” Ranjan said.
The three women who tumbled from the boat and died by drowning in the stream of Bagmati are Nagina Devi and Sita Devi, both from Dharampur in Hathaudi police station, as well as Poonam Devi from Warisnagar, the SP said.
Ranjan was at Warisnagar to take stock of the situation. He said the incident occurred at around 8.30am. “Till now, there is no information about missing persons. No one has come to the police station making claim about any missing person,” Ranjan added.
The incident that occurred at Fatuha has poignant ring. The station house officer (SHO) Naseem Ahmad of the Fatuha police station said that 12 persons had crossed the river Ganga by boat for a picnic on the other side of the river that lies in the ‘diaras’ under Raghopur police station in Vaishali district. In the process of saving a child from drowning, 11 other persons also got drowned.
Of the 12 persons who got drowned, the bodies of nine had been fished out. The three others in serious condition were rushed to a private hospital at Fatuha where they survived. “Efforts were being made to find the bodies of missing persons, if any,” the SHO said. Reports said the dead, whose names and identities were being ascertained, belong to the three families of Fatuha.