Patna Boat Tragedy: 25 Dead, PM Modi Announces Compensation

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:02 IST

The bodies of 25 passengers have been recovered, while eight people are being treated at the Patna Medical College and Hospital.

Patna Boat Tragedy: 25 Dead, PM Modi Announces Compensation
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the incident

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in Patna boat tragedy from the PM National Relief Fund.

Those seriously injured will be given Rs 50,000 each, the PMO said. Last night, while condoling loss of lives, the PM has postponed his programme scheduled for today in Patna.

"PM expressed grief on the loss of lives caused by the boat tragedy in Bihar. He extended condolences to the bereaved families," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted last night.

In the wake of the tragedy, a programme to mark the start of redevelopment work of Mahatma Gandhi Setu in Patna which he was to address today via video conferencing was also postponed, the PMO said.

At least 25 passengers were killed and many others were missing as a boat carrying 40 people capsized in the Ganga river near here on Saturday evening, officials said. 

Only eight people have been rescued so far. The bodies of 25 passengers have been recovered, while eight people are being treated at the Patna Medical College and Hospital, said Patna SSP Manu Maharaj.

According to eyewitnesses, the overcrowded boat was returning from a kite flying festival, organised as part of Makar Sankranti by the state Tourism Department, when the incident took place around 6 pm.

Rescue operations were hampered since it was already dark by the time. Six of the eight people rescued were pulled out from the river by the National Disaster Response Force, a team of which was deployed for the rescue operations. Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Agarwal and district police officials are camping at the site.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the incident. The state government also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of the victims.

Meanwhile, the ruling JD-U postponed its state President Vashisht Narain Singh's Makar Sankranti feast planned for Sunday.

President offers condolences on Bihar tragedy

President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday condoled the boat tragedy in Patna that left 25 persons dead."My heartfelt condolences on the loss of lives in the boat accident in the Ganga river," he said.

"I call upon concerned authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families and medical assistance to the injured."