At least 11 people, including women and children, were killed after a boat carrying over 30 devotees to a temple in Rajasthan’s Bundi district capsized in the Chambal river here on Wednesday morning, officials said.
Three people are still missing while 20 devotees were rescued, they added.
Belonging to the Khatoli–Itawa area of Kota, they were going to the Kamleshwar temple in Indergarh of Bundi to offer prayers.
The accident took place around 8.45 am near Gotra village under the Khatoli police station, about 110 kilometers from Kota district headquarters.
The depth of the river where the boat overturned is around 40-45 feet, an official said, adding a rescue operation was launched by the SDRF and the NDRF.
“At least 11 people have been killed in the accident in Khatoli, while the search for three others is under way,” District Collector Ujjaval Rathore said, adding that 20 people were rescued.
He said that according to locals, 35-50 people were on board with 14 to 15 motorbikes when the accident took place. Prima facie, a weak structure of the boat caused the mishap, the district collector added.
Area DSP Shubhkaran said the bodies were handed over to families after autopsy and they have lodged a case against the boat”s sailor and owner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed anguish over the loss of lives in the boat capsize.
“Anguished by the capsizing of a boat in Kota, Rajasthan. My thoughts are with those who have lost their near and dear ones: PM @narendramodi,” the Prime Minister”s Office tweeted quoting Modi.
Describing the incident as “sorrowful and unfortunate”, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took to Twitter to express condolences to the aggrieved families. He announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of each deceased.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who is an MP from the Kota-Bundi constituency of Rajasthan, too expressed grief over the incident.
Local Congress MLA Ramnarayan Meena expressed sorrow over the tragedy and demanded that the relief amount be increased.
“I have written to CM Ashok Gehlot to increase the compensation amount,” Meena told PTI, alleging that negligence by local officials resulted in the mishap.
When local officials were aware of the movement of the boat, they should have informed their seniors, he said.
Following the incident, Kota district collector Ujjaval Rathore ordered benching of the land inspector, gram sevak and transport inspector of Khatoli area awaiting posting order, while the SHO has been ordered to be sent to police lines.
Kota (Rural) SP Sharad Choudhary confirmed that the SHO has been sent to police lines