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Boat capsizes in Malda river; 5 bodies found, 60 missing

Kolkata: Many persons went missing after a motorboat capsized in Mahananda river at Chanchal in Malda on Thursday evening.

Till Friday, five bodies were fished out of the water whereas at least 60 people are still missing. State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said that the concerned officials have been asked to lodge FIR against the owner of the boat along with others related to the service. According to sources, on Thursday evening, a baich competition was scheduled at the Itahar in North Dinajpur. Several people were going to witness the event. The boat started from Jagannath Dham ghat in Chanchal, it capsized suddenly in the middle of Mahananda river.

It is alleged that despite the capacity of the boat was to carry around 40 people, around 60 people boarded the boat. After the boat capsized, a few persons swam to reach ashore. Seeing the boat getting down, several people from the banks of Mahananda river, informed police and district administration.

Soon, the police and Malda district administration arrived at the spot and started a rescue operation. Disaster Management Group was also called in. On Thursday night, divers went into the water and rescued several persons.

All of them were sent to Chanchal Hospital where three were declared brought dead.

Late on Thursday night, rescue operation was stopped. It again started on early on Friday morning. Several more persons were recovered and sent to Chanchal Hospital where two more persons were declared brought dead. Meanwhile on Thursday, state Transport Department requested people through advertisements not to flout the carrying limit on any boat or vessel.

People have been advised not to use temporary ferry ghats as those can be dangerous. People have also been advised to use life jackets.

In case of any emergency people can reach Transport department control room at 9073943903. On Monday, a motorboat capsized in Rupnarayan river at Mahisadal in East Midnapore. Police and district administration conducted rescue operation on war footing and were able to rescue all the passengers. The owner and the 'majhi' were arrested a day ago in this case.

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