Overloaded ferry capsizes in Assam killing at least 103
GUWAHATI (Reuters) - Rescue workers fought heavy wind and rain to search for survivors after at least 103 people drowned on an overloaded ferry carrying about 300 people that sank at night in the Brahmaputra river in Assam, police said.
About 100 people were rescued, said Jayanta Narayan Choudhury, police chief of Assam. The accident was the worst of its kind in recent memory in India's northeastern region.
People were sitting on the roof of the ferry carrying mainly local farmers and their families when it tipped over in a storm on a one-km (half-mile)-wide stretch of the Brahmaputra river in a remote region of the state, close to China and Bangladesh, police said.
"Our rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather, it is still raining heavily and there is almost zero visibility in the area," P.C. Saloi, a police officer at the scene, told Reuters. Rescue operations were called off late at night and were set to begin again at sun up.
Eyewitnesses told police the vessel was old and broke in two after capsizing in the swollen river, one of Asia's largest. Smaller boats often get into trouble on the river, but the ferry was the largest to sink in recent years.
The boat was overloaded with people and sacks of rice, among other goods, and carried no lifeboats or life jackets, the police officer said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, said he was "shocked and grieved" by the accident.
Rescue workers said they had contacted colleagues downstream in Bangladesh to help in the search for survivors.
(Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Michael Roddy)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Pakistani family sentenced to death over "honour killing" outside court
- UPDATE 3-Residents in western New York call snow worst in memory
- Alumnus dead after opening fire at Florida State University, wounding 3 |
- Kotak bank buys ING Vysya in record $2.4 billion share deal
- Mike Nichols, award-winning American director, dies at 83
A rift between the five powerful labour unions at Coal India Ltd is set to clear the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to complete a stake sale in the state company that is critical to hitting budget targets. Full Article
U.S. court overturns bid by Ranbaxy to block launch of rival generic drugs. Full Article
Tech Mahindra to buy U.S.-based network services operator for $240 million Full Article
Infosys unit's overbilling Apple led to exit of top execs - sources. Full Article