Odishatv Bureau

Berhampur: In a tragic incident, four persons including two children died when a boat in which they travelling capsized in Chilika lake this morning.

Reports said 29 members (18 male, 8 female and 3 children) of a family and their relatives and friends of Sabulia village were on the way to Ghantasila inside the lake for a picnic when the boatman lost control of the overloaded boat which capsized.

Hearing the cry, some local fishermen, fishing inside the lake, rushed to the spot and rescued 22 passengers.

Following information, the district administration rushed a Fire Brigade team to the spot for rescue operation.

Besides, three 108 ambulance vans and one 102 ambulance van rushed to the spot. Out of 22 rescued passengers, 11 were admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur while two others were admitted to government hospitals at Rambha and Khallikote.

Sources in the locality said the ill-fated boat which had a maximum capacity to ferry 10-12 passengers.

Talking to media persons, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ganjam, Gupta Mahakud, who is presently monitoring the rescue work in the lake, said 29 persons including women and five children were travelling in the ill-fated boat.

“These passengers were from Sabalia village. They had gone to attend a marriage party yesterday and this morning they were on the way to Ghantasila for a picnic when the mishap took place at about 1.5 km from the shore,” he added.

He further said that rescue operations are underway with the help of local country boats and Fire brigade personnel. “Efforts are on to trace out the missing passengers”, he informed.

Ganjam collector Prem Chandra Choudhury who rushed to the spot along with DIG, Southern Range, informed that till now 22 passengers have been rescued of which four persons including a child have died. “Efforts are on by the Fire Brigade team and the people of the locality to trace out seven missing passengers,” he said, adding that the treatment of the rescued passengers is on.

Informing the media after the rescue operation was over, DIG, southern range, Amitabh Thakur said out of 29 passengers, 25 have been rescued and four have died.

The deceased have been identified as Jitu Pradhan (30), Sahil Pradhan (3), Sapna Swain (18 month) and Siba Purohit, he added.

Expressing profound grief over the death of four passengers in the tragic incident, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to each family of the deceased. He also directed the concerned authorities for treatment of all injured passengers and expedite rescue works.

Expressing deep shock over the incident, Governor SC Jamir wished early recovery of all injured passengers.

Meanwhile, Rambha Police has registered a case against the boat owner Dutia Mallick and boatman Hatia Mallick under section 280 and 304 of IPC for ferrying the passengers in a fishing boat.