Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur, Feb 10:
Rescue operations by the fire brigade and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF)inside the Hirakud reservoir resumed early this morning to trace out the missing persons who are feared drowned after a boat in which they were travelling capsized on Sunday afternoon.
The rescue teams had fished out 11 bodies including two children from the reservoir till the operation was halted late on Sunday night.
Talking to OST today, Sambalpur collector Balwant Singh said the rescue teams have intensified their search operations from the early morning hours.
Five teams of ODRAF and the fire brigade personnel have been pressed into service, he added.
The ADM, however, said that the administration had no information on the exact number of persons who were aboard the boat when the mishap took place.
“We have pressed three fire brigade teams from Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Rengali and Sambalpur who are now conducting search operations inside the reservoir from their respective sides. We had continued the operations up to late last night till 2 am and started the operations again in the morning hours”, said fire officer, Sambalpur.
When asked about the depth of the reservoir where the mishap took place, he said it would be between 100 and 200 feet.
“We are facing difficulties in the rescue operation as the undercurrent at the mishap site is very high. Despite this, we are using several instruments to reach the bottom of the reservoir to find bodies that might have been stuck between rocks,” he added.
Meanwhile, post mortem of the victims were conducted at the VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla this morning.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who is presently on a four-day tour to New Delhi, has expressed profound grief over the incident.
He has directed the district administration to intensify the search operations.