Odishatv Bureau

Dhenkanal: The death toll in Dhenkanal boat capsize incident increased to four while two more persons are still missing after a boat carrying as many as 24 people capsized in Brahmani River in the district on Monday.

The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) team has recovered a body a woman this afternoon from Mandar Ghat area of the district.

According to reports, the deceased is yet to be identified.

The dead body of a nine-year-old was recovered today, while another rescued girl breathed her last at the hospital yesterday. While three persons were missing since yesterday, one more girl was reported as missing by the family members today. The said girl has been identified as Sagarika Mallick, daughter of Sridhar Mallick.

Two ODRAF teams are carrying out rescue work to trace the missing persons.

“The two teams of ODRAF are continuing their search opreration to trace the missing persons. If there is a need of more rescue workers then we will make the arrangements. The district police is on the job to trace the absconding boatman. I want to clarify that people who were on the boat boarded forcibly despite warning from the boatman about the dilapidated state of the boat. The boat which was there at the ghat was a defunt one and was rejected by the authorities for ferrying. However, on Monday, some people forcibly boarded another fishermen boat which was not apt for ferrying passengers,” said Dhenkanal Collector, Rupa Roshan Sahoo.

The incident occurred when villagers of Surapatrapur of Bhuban block were on their way through the Chandipal Ghat on Brahmani River to worship at Goudeswar Mahadev on the occasion of Mahashivratri yesterday.

According to sources, the boat lost its balance and capsized. Two persons were rescued while six others went missing, said sources.

While a few people swam back to shore, the two rescued were sent to hospital. One of the rescued girls identified as Rubina Rout, aged 18 years, died at the hospital. The other girl is undergoing treatment. Today morning, body of a nine-year-old identified as Satyanarayan Swain.

Four persons are still missing even as rescue operation is in progress by ODRAF and fire tender officials. The boatman of the boat is reportedly missing as investigations are on to establish the cause behind the mishap.

Minister Prafulla Mallick, Dhenkanal Collector and SP reached the spot and reviewed rescue operations.

Meanwhile, CM Naveen Patnaik has directed Dhenkanal dist administration to undertake rescue work on a war footing.