Amateur footage of the Bihar boat tragedy emerged Sunday, confirming that it was carrying passengers well over its intended capacity. The dramatic visuals of the boat capsize show several passengers swimming towards safety and a few appear to have been pulled into the waters along with the boat. The boat was carrying more than 50 people, of which 24 have been declared dead. Three teams from the National Disaster Response Force are assisting in the rescue operations. The survivors are being treated at the Patna Medial College & Hospital.
WATCH VIDEO | What Were The Factors Behind Bihar Boat Tragedy That Killed 24 People?
The boat was on its way back from Sabalpur Diara to Gandhi Ghat. Hundreds assembled at Sablpur Diara, 2 km from across Patna, to witness a kite-flying festival. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has ordered an inquiry and directed officials to discontinue kite flying at Sabalpur Diara. The state government had arranged boats to ferry passengers but since there were few boats available for the return ride to Patna, all available boats were overcrowded, several survivors said. In Patna, Opposition BJP blamed the lack of preparation by the tourism department and local administration for the mishap.
“Arrangements should have been more robust, inquiry will expose loopholes and defaulters will be caught,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told news agency ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured. Earlier, State Disaster Management department Secretary Pratyaya Amrit said an inquiry has been ordered and Rs 4 lakh compensation would be given to the next of kin of each deceased.