Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Berhampur, Dec 10:
In a tragic incident, at least four persons, including a child, died when a boat carrying 29 passengers capsized in Chilika lake here today.
According to reports, the mishap took place when the ill-fated boat carrying as many as 29 tourists was on its way to Ghantasila hill from Sabulia ghat through Chilika lake.
However, the boat lost control and overturned midway after covering a distance of 1.5 km from coast, sources said. Though local boatmen, who were near the spot of incident with their boats, tried to rescue them but four had already drowned to death by then.
On being informed, six teams of fire department and two ODRAF teams rushed to the spot and launched rescue operation.
Ganjam Collector Prem Chandra Choudhury said there were a total of 31 persons on the boat including 29 passengers when the boat capsized. While four of them died, the rest have been rescued. They have been admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital here, he said.
“A high tide completely tilted the boat towards one side following which the passengers fell into water. I tried my best to save them but couldn’t do much in deep waters,” said Bideshi Mallick, the boatman, who was rescued by other local boatmen and admitted to MKCG hospital.
“They had come to attend a marriage in Sabulia yesterday. They planned for a picnic at Ghantasila hill and paid me some amount in advance to carry them to their destination. I was earlier informed by them that 15 persons will travel in the boat for which I had arranged a boat with seating capacity of 30 persons. However, the number of passengers increased to 29 later,” Mallick added.