Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Berhampur, Dec 10:
Overloading of passengers in boats has claimed many lives in the past in Odisha and the same turned fatal for four persons who lost their lives in the tragic boat capsize incident in Chilika lake in Odisha’s Ganjam district today.
According to Bideshi Mallick, the rower of the ill-fated boat, the passengers had come to attend a marriage in Sabulia in the district yesterday. They planned for a picnic at Ghantasila hill and paid him some amount in advance to carry them to their destination from Sabulia ghat.
The boatman was earlier informed by them that 15 persons will travel in the boat for which he had arranged a boat with seating capacity of 30 persons. However, the number of passengers increased to 29 at the last moment, Mallick 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 Mallick, who was rescued by local boatmen and admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital here.
Ganjam Collector Prem Chandra Choudhury said there were a total of 31 persons on the boat including 29 passengers when the boat capsized.