11 drowned as boats capsize during Ganesh idol immersion in Bhopal

PTI

Bhopal: State Disaster Emergency Response Force (SDERF) personnel during a search and rescue operation after a boat capsized in the Lower Lake, in Bhopal, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Eleven people drowned when the boat carrying them along with a Ganesh idol for immersion capsized in early dawn hours. (PTI Photo)

Bhopal: State Disaster Emergency Response Force (SDERF) personnel during a search and rescue operation after a boat capsized in the Lower Lake, in Bhopal, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Eleven people drowned when the boat carrying them along with a Ganesh idol for immersion capsized in early dawn hours. (PTI Photo)

Eleven people drowned when two boats carrying them capsized during Ganesh idol immersion in Lower Lake of Bhopal, a senior police official said on Friday.

The incident took place on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday in Khatlapura on the banks of the Lower Lake, Deputy Inspector General of Police Irshad Wali told PTI.

Eleven people died in the incident while six were rescued, Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday expressed grief over the death of 11 people in boat capsize in Bhopal, saying his thoughts are with the families of those who died.

“The capsizing of a boat at Khatlapura Ghat in Bhopal is saddening. In this hour of grief, our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting PM Modi.

A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident, Pithode said.

A total of 17 people were going on two separate boats for the immersion of the Ganesh idol at Khatlapura ghat when the incident took place at around 4.30 am, the collector told PTI.

Initially, the first boat tilted and when the people on the other one saw it, they tried to save it, but to no avail. In the process, the other boat also tilted sideways and both capsized, an official said.

Teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), local police, and the citizens swung into action and rescued six persons, the official said.

An ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh, including an immediate relief of Rs 50,000, was announced by the collector for the kin of the deceased.

The state’s Public Relations Minister P C Sharma also reached the spot.

(PTI)