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Dilip Kumar

Khurdha: Fire officials have safely rescued all the passengers of a boat that got stuck in the middle of Nalabana in Chilika lake on Sunday evening.

The incident took place when the boat was returning from Kalijai temple. "The machine developed technical glitch at Nalabana when we are returning from Kalijai temple.  We all the family members went there to have darshan of Goddess Kalijai", boat driver Sankar Behera said.

The boat carrying around 17 passengers including some children developed some technical faults and the engine got stopped automatically. Though the boat took the help of another machine of a fellow boat, it didn't support, a passenger said.

"We took the help of fellow boat's machine. But, it didn't support. Fear gripped all the passengers as the boat got stuck in the deep water in the night. Then we called the fire station for rescue," said Sudarshan Behera, a passenger.

On being informed, the fire fighters launched an operation to rescue the travellers. They pressed two boats into service.

"We got a phone call that a boat was stranded in the middle of the lake after its machine developed technical glitches. With two boats, we launched the operation to locate the passenger boat. After hour long search, we finally traced the boat at around 10.30 pm and successfully rescued all the passengers and the stranded boat," said Nityananda Jena, fire officer.

It was a daunting task for the fire fighters to locate the stranded boat due to darkness. They took around six hours to find out the boat in the deep water, sources said.

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