August 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India
23 pilgrims drowned as boat capsizes
Kishanganj, August 11
Twenty-three bodies have been fished out at different ghats along the river in Terha Gachh block in the district while the search continues for the missing.
Twelve of the occupants of the boat swam to safety. The tragedy struck when a boat carrying 52 pilgrims, mostly women, was on the way from Biwiganj in Kishanganj district to Khaniabad in Nepal to offer prayers at a Shiva temple.
While eight bodies each were recovered from the Matiayari ghat and Dubyabhedi, four bodies were washed ashore at Motitola and three at Kankaghat, the police said. Divers from adjoining Araria, Purnia and Bhagalpur districts were pressed into service to locate the bodies and survivors.
Senior Bihar minister Mohammed Taslimuddin and District Magistrate
K.S. Kumar are camping at Biwiganj to oversee the relief and rescue
operations This is the first major boat mishap during the current
spell of floods in Bihar, which has already claimed 41 lives in
different flood-hit districts. — PTI
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