Guwahati/New Delhi, Sept 8 (UNI): Three people died and at least 40 were rescued after a machine boat capsized in the Brahmaputra river following a collision with a ferry near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district of Assam on Wednesday.
According to Damodar Barman, Additional District Commissioner, Jorhat rescue operations are going on and efforts are on to turn the boat which capsized.
Local media reports said three bodies have been recovered. However, the district administration said no fatalities have been recorded so far.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) has issued an emergency toll-free number for information regarding the missing person in Nimatighat boat mishap. The numbers are 1070/1079 (State Emergency Operation Centre), 1077 (District Emergency Operation Centre).
The incident occurred when private boat ‘Ma Kamala’, headed to Majuli from Nimati Ghat, collided with the government-owned ferry ‘Tripkai’ which was coming from Majuli.
The capsized boat was also carrying several four-wheelers and two-wheelers which went down the river.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “all possible efforts are being made to rescue the passengers”.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed concern over the incident and said he will visit Nimati Ghat on Thursday.
“I am pained at the tragic boat accident near Nimati Ghat, Jorhat. Directed Majuli & Jorhat admin to undertake rescue mission expeditiously with help of @NDRFHQ & SDRF. Advising Min @BimalBorahbjp to immediately rush to the accident site. I’ll also visit Nimati Ghat tomorrow,” he tweeted.
Union Minister of Shipping, Ports and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal talked to Sarma and took stock of the ongoing rescue and relief operations. Sonowal was MLA from Majuli constituency.
The government has also ordered a state-level inquiry into the incident.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday expressed grief over the tragic boat accident in Assam and assured full support from the central government.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Shah wrote, “Anguished to learn about the tragic boat accident in Assam. Have spoken to CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, the state administration is doing everything possible to rescue the people. We are continuously monitoring the situation. Also assured full support from the Central government.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed anguish over the tragic incident and appealed to local party members to extend all possible help.
“The news of the capsizing of ferry boat in Assam is tragic. As we await further details, I extend condolences to the family of the victims. Let’s hope the rescue operation manages to save lives in the next few hours. I appeal to local Congress teams to help in every way possible,” Gandhi wrote in a social media post.