Three people were killed and at least 11 were missing after a bhut-bhuti - a country-made boat fitted with an engine - carrying about 50 passengers capsized in Brahmaputra this afternoon.
The accident took place around 2 pm near the Aswaklanta temple ghat in Guwahati after the boat crashed with a concrete pillar.
Two bodies, including that of a girl, were found and at least 11 people were people to be missing. 10 persons were rescued while 12 others managed to swim to safety. However, due to inclement weather rescue teams were facing difficulty.
Later, a student of Cotton State University, Dimpy Das, died on way to the hospital after being rescued. The two others killed were Ankita Barua and Kamal Das. Ankita was also a student of Cotton State University. Four other students of the university were among those missing.
The army was called in to assist the rescue operations which were being carried out by the state and National Disaster Response Force teams.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to the capsizing of a boat near Guwahati in Assam. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. The State Government is working actively on the rescue operations and ensuring all possible support on the ground."
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered an enquiry into the incident. Additional Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah has been directed to investigate into the reasons responsible for the boat capsize and the factors triggering the mishap and submit report at the earliest.
Extremely saddened to learn about the unfortunate capsizing of a passenger boat in the Brahmaputra near Guwahati.— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) September 5, 2018
Disaster relief and security forces are on the ground carrying out relief operations. My heart goes out to families of those affected.
The boat was carrying passengers to north Guwahati's Madhyam Khanda in Kamrup district from Fancy Bazaar in Guwahati city when the incident happened.
Only 22 passengers had valid tickets and the boat was overcrowded, with 18 motorcycles on it, Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kumar Baishya, who was supervising the rescue operations at the site, was quoted by PTI as saying.
Meanwhile, the government has banned mechanised boats between north Guwahati and Guwahati on the Brahmaputra. Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary that the order will remain effective for the entire monsoon.
Mechanised boats carry thousands of passengers across the Brahmaputra. The river is in spate due to monsoon rains in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh.
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