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1 Dead As 2 Boats Collide In Brahmaputra In Assam, Several Missing

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One of the boats was coming from Majuli to Nimati Ghat in Jorhat, Assam.

Guwahati:

A woman has died and around 30 people are missing after two passenger boats collided with each other in the Brahmaputra River in Assam's Jorhat today.

Sources said nearly 200 passengers were onboard the boats when they crashed into each other at Nimati Ghat in Jorhat, around 350 km from Guwahati, around 4 pm today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "all possible efforts are being made to rescue the passengers."

PM Modi also called Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to enquire about the boat accident and all help from the centre in rescue operations.

One of the boats, a government passenger ferry of the Inland Water Transport department, was coming from Majuli (a river island district in Assam) to Nimati Ghat with around 120 passengers on board while the other boat was going in the opposite direction.

Videos from the accident showed the boat capsizing after the collision, as some passengers tried to hold on to it while others jumped into the water to save themselves. The passengers' luggage along with motorbikes and cars on the boats also washed away in the river.

State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force officials reached the spot and started rescue operations. Around 42 people, including a baby, have been rescued till now from which many have been sent to hospitals.

A woman who was rescued and sent to a hospital for treatment has died, government sources said late in the evening.

The state government has suspended three officials of inland water transport department after the accident.

Soon after the incident, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed the district administration of Majuli and Jorhat districts to carry out the rescue mission expeditiously with the help of the NDRF and SDRF.

He said Home Minister Amit Shah has promised all possible help. "HM Sri Amit Shah had kindly called to enquire about the accident in Nimati Ghat and took an update on the rescue operations and conditions of those rescued so far. He said the Central Government is ready to lend all possible help. Grateful to him," he tweeted.

"I am pained at the tragic boat accident near Nimati Ghat, Jorhat," the chief minister wrote.

He directed state minister Bimal Bora to immediately travel to Majuli and take stock of the situation, and asked principal secretary to the chief minister Samir Kumar Sinha to monitor the developments.

The chief minister said he will visit Nimati Ghat tomorrow to evaluate the situation.

Union Minister and former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who represents Majuli in the state assembly, said he has directed the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways to provide all necessary support.

"Anguished to learn of the ferry accident in Majuli. I have talked with Assam CM Himanta Biswa regarding the accident and he has informed me of ongoing rescue and relief operations. I have directed @shipmin_india to provide all necessary support to help the victims," he wrote on Twitter.

The army is also on stand-by to provide help with rescue operations.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi extended condolences to the families of the victims of the accident. "Let's hope the rescue operation manages to save lives in the next few hours. I appeal to the local Congress teams to help in every way possible," he said in a Facebook post.

Assam has issued emergency numbers following the accident.

For any emergency or information regarding missing person in Nimatighat boat mishap, kindly call to the Toll Free number:
1070/1079 (State Emergency Operation Centre)
1077 (District Emergency Operation Centre)
-Assam State Disaster Management Authority


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September 8, 2021, 4:53 pm





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