2 dead, 2 missing as boat capsizes in Chilika during thunderstorm

Khurda: In a tragic incident, two including a minor girl was killed while two others went missing after a boat ferrying tourists capsized in Chilika lake following a thunderstorm on Saturday evening.

The mishap occurred when the boat carrying 16 tourists from Ranapur area of Nayagarh district including the boatman were returning from Kalijai to Balugaon at around 5:30 pm today.

According to reports, the boat capsized under the impact of strong winds during a thunderstorm that lashed the region this evening.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep grief over death of a child in the boat accident in Chilika. Patnaik also directed Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Khurda and Ganjam district administration to work in coordination to expedite rescue operation.

“The boat ferrying passengers should have left the place before 5 pm. However, people usually do not listen to such directives,” said Sasmita Lenka, additional chief executive, Chilika Development Authority (CDA).

Official sources said a massive rescue operation was launched by locals and fire services personnel following the boat tragedy.

All the 12 persons who were rescued following the mishap were first admitted to Balugaon hospital. Later two were shifted to Capital hospital in Bhubaneswar after their condition deteriorated.

“Rescue operations are still going on. Around 30-40 personnel are involved in the entire operation. We immediately swung into action after getting information about the mishap at around 6 pm,” said Balugaon fire officer, Nityanada Jena.

Jena further informed that body of one out of three missing persons was fished out from Chilika lake while efforts are on to trace others.