Overloaded ferry capsizes in Assam killing at least 103

GUWAHATI Tue May 1, 2012 12:49pm IST

Onlookers and rescue workers look at the damaged boat which was taken on shore after it sank on the Brahmaputra river, at Buraburi village in Dhubri district of Assam May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Utpal Baruah

Onlookers and rescue workers look at the damaged boat which was taken on shore after it sank on the Brahmaputra river, at Buraburi village in Dhubri district of Assam May 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Utpal Baruah

Related Topics

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)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Diplomacy

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Maruti Results

Maruti Results

Maruti Suzuki says profits helped by sentiment, not growth.  Full Article 

Tracking the Monsoon

Tracking the Monsoon

Monsoon turns patchy after revival.  Full Article 

ICICI Profit Up

ICICI Profit Up

ICICI Bank Q1 net profit up 17 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

Pharma Sector

Pharma Sector

FDA raises concern over drug production process at Cadila  Full Article 

Coal India

Coal India

Some Coal India mines may be run by foreign firms - minister  Full Article 

Fuel Prices

Fuel Prices

IOC to cut petrol prices by 1.5 pct from Friday  Read 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

India's infrastructure output growth hits 9-month high in June  Full Article | Related Story 

Joint Bid

Joint Bid

ONGC, Oil India bid $1.5 bln for stake in Murphy Oil's Malaysia assets - sources  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage