- Number of deaths in Patna boat tragedy rose to 24 this morning
- Boat carrying 40 capsized in Ganga river near Patna on Saturday evening
- PM Modi announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for families of those killed
According to the officials, the accident occurred around 6 pm on Saturday evening when an overcrowded boat - which had taken people for a free ride from the Ganga Ghat - was returning from a kite flying festival, organised as part of Makar Sankranti by the state Tourism Department.
The boat capsized either due to overloading or mid-water collision with another country boat, Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal told reporters yesterday.
Rescue operations were hampered last night since it was already dark by the time.
Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Agarwal and district police officials are camping at the site, reported news agency IANS.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the accident and told officials to look into the lapses that led to the incident. He has also ordered the district administration to provide compensation to the families of the dead.
PM Modi, who had "extended condolences to the bereaved families" in a tweet on Saturday, announced a compensation for the victims this morning.
PM has approved ex-gratia from PMNRF, of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those deceased in the unfortunate boat tragedy in Bihar.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 15 January 2017
PM has also "approved Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured in the boat tragedy in Bihar", his tweet said.
Further festivities in the Ganga Diara area have been called off.
(With inputs from agencies)