The tragic incident which took place yesterday after two boats with about a hundred passengers sunk after colliding with each other in the river Brahmaputra in Jorhat, Assam, many people are reported to be feared missing.
The accident occurred at around 4:15 PM as a departing boat(Ma Kamala) was trying to give space to an arriving boat. As per reports, due to some miscommunication among the drivers, the boats collided and the departing boat turned upside down.
Currently, rescue operations continue at Nimatighat where the major boat accident occurred.
As per the state’s initial report recorded on Wednesday, 42 people have been rescued and around 70 are still missing.
However, three injured people are undergoing treatment at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, a doctor said.
One woman reported to be dead, the woman who died has been identified as Porimita Das from Guwahati. She was working as a faculty in a college in Majuli, says officials.
Meanwhile, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ashok Barman said, the Army will join the operations on Thursday with some advanced machines.
There is no correct figure as to how many people were on board the boat. It is claimed through eye-witnesses that there were over 100 people the police believe that the figure is around 75. According to a senior police official around 35 people might be missing and that, too, is based on eyewitnesses and other sources but the actual figure is still unknown.
The exact number of people is not yet known as there is no register or ticket system, that shows the negligence of the Inland Water Transport Department.
Meanwhile, Assam State Transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary has suspended three officials following the tragic ferry accident at NimatiGhat, Jorhat.
Reportedly, Bikramaditya Choudhury, i/c Executive Engineer, IWT, Dibrugarh Division, Mukut Gogoi, i/c Assistant Executive Engineer, IWT, Jorhat Sub-Division, and Ratul Tamuli, Junior Engineer, IWT, Jorhat Sub-Division have been placed under suspension on Wednesday.
Expressing concern over the incident PM Narendra Modi assured all help from centre and said he is with the people of Assam in the time of distress. Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday spoke to Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the phone and said the central government is continuously monitoring the situation.
Assam power minister Bimal Bora, who reached Nematighat on Wednesday night, said, “There must be some lapses. Otherwise, this accident would not have taken place. These all will be looked into in the coming days.”
The Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma will visit Nimati Ghat on Thursday, according to a statement from his office.
Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the boat accident. “My thoughts go out to the victims, survivors, and their families. Rescue and relief efforts are on to save as many lives as possible,” Kovind said on Twitter on Wednesday.