Jhelum boat tragedy: Death toll rises to 6, rescue ops underway

12 people fished out from the river, says officials

Jhelum boat rescue Rescuers carry out a search operation after a boat carrying people including children capsized in the river Jhelum in Srinagar | Reuters

The death toll in the Jhelum boat tragedy increased to six on Tuesday. Rescue operations are continuing at the incident site and three persons are undergoing treatment at Srinagar hospital.

A boat carrying 15 individuals capsized near Batwara on the Jhelum River in Srinagar in the morning. Due to torrential rains in Kashmir, the water level in the Jhelum had risen but had not crossed the danger mark.

Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat who visited the spot said at least 15 people were travelling in the boat, including seven minors. “The rescue operation is ongoing,” he said. “So far, 12 people have been fished out from the river, six of them unfortunately died in the incident.” He said three of the rescued six are being treated in the hospital, and the remaining are at their homes.

According to locals, the boat capsized while crossing the river near Batwara, Gandabal in Srinagar. A rescue operation was immediately launched, but not all those travelling in the boat could be saved.

A pall of gloom descended on the area after the bodies of those who lost their lives were brought home. The families of the deceased, especially women, were wailing. One of the locals, who didn’t give his name, blamed the government for the tragedy. “The government is busy with the smart city project to make Srinagar appealing for tourists, but the bridge that has been our demand is not the priority,” he said. He mentioned that the overloaded boat capsized after losing control.

 Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said he is constantly monitoring the situation and added the administration is providing all possible help to the bereaved families. Sinha tweeted, ”I am deeply grieved by the loss of lives due to a boat accident in Srinagar. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and I pray to the Almighty to give them strength to withstand this immense loss. Team of SDRF, Army and other agencies are carrying out relief and rescue work.”

He added, “Administration is providing all possible help to the bereaved families who have lost their near and dear ones and medical facilities to those who have been injured. Marcos teams have also been alerted. I am constantly monitoring the situation and guiding the team on the ground.”

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