Boat sinks in Brahmaputra

Partially submerged houses of a village in Morigaon district on Sunday. (Reuters)
Guwahati, Aug. 20: Four persons, including two children, drowned this morning after a motorised boat sank in the Brahmaputra in Barpeta district around 10am.

Hasibul Hassan, 6, Salema Khatun, 12, Amela Khatun, 55, and an unidentified person drowned near Dalagaon sar (sandbar) where the boat, carrying about 80 passengers, capsized in the swirling waters of the Brahmaputra.

According to the passengers of other boats, who raised the alarm, the spot is nearly 120km from Guwahati.

The boat was travelling from Kadamtala to Baghbar. The district administration, with help of the State Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Force and Assam police, carried out a search and rescue operation.

“Rescued passengers of the boat said they were around 70 to 80 in number and there were 16 heads of cattle besides a huge pile of jute. They were going to the weekly market in Baghbar. The survivors said there was a heavy current and the boat sank. Fourteen heads of cattle drowned and only two were rescued,” the circle officer of the Baghbar revenue circle, Kangkan Sarma, told this correspondent.

Sarma said the number of casualties may go up as the exact number of passengers could not be confirmed.

“The Brahmaputra was flowing above danger level because of last night’s heavy rain. The search operation will resume tomorrow,” Sarma added.

He said there was no restriction on plying of boats in the area.

The owner of boat was Osman Gani, a resident of Kadamtala.

The superintendent of police, Barpeta, Shiladitya Chetia, said forces from Alopatty and Baghbar police stations are engaged in the search operation.

Three rubber boats were used.

“The search operation has now been postponed and will resume tomorrow morning. Senior police officers will closely monitor the search operation,” Chetia said.

News Source Telegraph India Manash Pratim Dutta

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