Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reached Jorhat this morning to oversee the rescue operations following the boat tragedy in the Brahmaputra river that resulted in the death of at least one person. At least 200 passengers were onboard the boats when they crashed into each other at Nimati Ghat in Jorhat, around 350 km from Guwahati, on Wednesday. The incident took place around 4 pm.
“Rescue operation going on in Majuli. As of now one death and two missing. Efforts are on to find out more information,” Mr Sarma tweeted today.
“Eighty-eight people have been rescued so far,” officials told NDTV.
A video of the incident – shared by All India Unorganized Workers congress, an arm of the Congress party – shows the moments after the two boats collide. Passengers in one of the boats, including women, are heard screaming in horror and later jumping into the river as the boat begins to capsize. Some of them are seen trying to swim to the other boat, which appears to be stable.
Sad News: Two boats collided and capsized in #Brahmaputra near Majuli, Assam.
100+ people reported missing.
– AIUWC (@aiuwcindia) September 8, 2021
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.
Air force helicopters are flying low-lying sorties over Brahmaputra river as they look for survivors. Army has also sent a team to assist the disaster response team in the rescue operation.
Around 42 people, including a baby, have been rescued till now from which many have been sent to hospitals.