2 Killed, 6 Missing After Boat Capsizes in Mahanadi River, India

Tragic boat capsize in India's Mahanadi River claims lives, highlights need for stricter safety regulations and better emergency response in remote areas.

Rafia Tasleem
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2 Killed, 6 Missing After Boat Capsizes in Mahanadi River, India

35-Year-Old Woman Killed, 7 Missing After Boat Capsizes in Mahanadi River, India

A boat carrying over 50 people capsized in the Mahanadi River in Jharsuguda district, Odisha, India on Friday, resulting in the death of 2 and six people, including three children, going missing. The boat was ferrying passengers from Kharsia area in Raigad, Chhattisgarh, to a temple in the middle of the river under Ambabhona block of Odisha's Bargarh district when the incident occurred.

Local fishermen rescued around 35 people, while police and fire services personnel rescued seven more. A search and rescue operation is ongoing to locate the missing individuals, with the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and scuba divers from Bhubaneswar involved in the efforts. So far, around 47-48 people have been rescued and taken to a safe shelter where they were provided food.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his grief over the loss of two lives and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the families of the deceased. He also directed the local administration to provide better treatment to the rescued people and ensure the intensification of the ongoing search and rescue operations.

Why this matters: The tragic incident highlights the importance of boat safety measures and the need for stricter regulations to prevent such accidents. It also underscores the challenges faced by rescue teams in responding to emergencies in remote areas.

Eyewitnesses said the boat was overloaded and lacked a fitness certificate, valid papers, and safety gear for passengers. "The boat was operating without a valid license, was not accorded a fitness certificate, and was overcrowded, carrying more passengers than its capacity," alleged a local BJP leader. The district collector stated that the search and rescue operation has been difficult but not impossible, and the divers are well-trained with night light equipment.

Key Takeaways

  • Boat carrying 50+ capsized in Mahanadi River, Odisha; 2 dead, 6 missing
  • 35 people rescued by locals, 7 more by police/fire; search ongoing for missing
  • Odisha CM announced ₹4 lakh ex-gratia for deceased families, directed rescue efforts
  • Boat was overloaded, lacked fitness certificate and safety gear, alleged local leader
  • Rescue operation difficult but not impossible, say officials with night light equipment