The bodies of four more persons were recovered on Sunday from the river Ganga taking the toll in the boat tragedy here to 24.
The rescue operation in the boat tragedy which was halted for the night resumed on Sunday morning. At least 24 people were killed when an overcrowded boat capsized in Ganga river near Patna on Saturday.
“The rescue operation has been stopped for the time being due to darkness. It will resume tomorrow morning,” Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal told reporters.
He said the NDRF, SDRF and civil and police officials would guard the area throughout the night and the divers would start fresh search for victims on Sunday morning.
The DM said prima facie it appears that the boat capsized either due to overloading or collision with another country boat, mid-water.
Aggarwal said it has come to light that these people had gone for an unauthorised ‘Disneyland fair’ near Sambalpur diara area in Saran district and boarded the country boat to return to Patna side when mishap occurred mid-stream.
At least 20 people, including some minors, drowned when Makar Sankranti festivities ended in a tragedy after a boat capsized on the Ganga in Patna on Saturday.
Around 40 people were said to be onboard the country boat.
Officials said some of the passengers have been taken to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) after receiving injuries in the boat tragedy.
The boat was coming to Ranighat in Patna from Sabalpur diara (riverine) on the other side of River Ganga after watching kite flying on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Some persons swam to safety, while some families were complaining of missing members, police officials said adding, a search operation is on.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday night condoled the loss of lives in Patna boat tragedy after which his programme scheduled for tomorrow in the Bihar capital was postponed.
“PM expressed grief on the loss of lives caused by the boat tragedy in Bihar. He extended condolences to the bereaved families,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
In the wake of the tragedy, a programme to mark the start of redevelopment work of Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Patna which he was to address via video conferencing was also postponed, the PMO said.
Bihar boat tragedy: PM announces ex-gratia from PMNRF of Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of those deceased & Rs.50,000 for those seriously injured— ANI (@ANI_news) January 15, 2017