Death toll in Mahanadi boat accident rises to eight

Jharsuguda: The death toll in the tragic boat capsizing incident in Mahanadi reached eight as rescue operations ended on Saturday, prompting the district administration to suspend boat services at Saradha ferry ghat till further notice.

The incident occurred when the boat returning from Maa Patharseni temple carrying 50 passengers to Saradha Pheri Ghat lost its balance and overturned, leaving eight passengers missing. Local fishermen launched rescue efforts, resulting in the rescue of several passengers, but eight remained missing.

The first victim, Radhika Nisad (40), was recovered on Friday. Seven more bodies were recovered with the help of scuba divers and the ODRAF team from Bhubaneswar on Saturday. The deceased have been identified as Teras Bai Rathiya (60), Radhika Rathiya (35), Ghasneen Bai Rathiya (40), Lachmeen Bai Rathiya (40), residents of Anjoripalli village under Kharsia police station in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh. Kunal Rathiya (9) is included. ), Nabin Rathiya (7), and Tikeshwar Rathiya (7).

Superintendent of Police Smit P Parmar confirmed the recovery of all the bodies. “All eight bodies have been recovered. We have sent the bodies for postmortem and then handed them over to the families.”
The two sailors and the sarpanch of Remada Panchayat are currently being interrogated at Rengali PS, pending the official investigation report which has identified overloading as a possible cause of the tragedy.
The incident has raised concerns over the operation of boats and alleged negligence of local authorities. Previous complaints regarding illegal boat services, including one filed by Madhu Pandey of Kiritmal in the District Collector’s complaint cell, have yielded little or no results as the regulatory mechanisms reportedly remain ineffective.

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