At least one person died and 33 others went missing after a boat carrying over 120 passengers collided with a ferry steamer and sank in the Brahmaputra river near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district of Assam on Wednesday.
Three officials of the Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department have been placed under suspension for alleged negligence of duty, while senior ministers admitted that there were lapses and the "guilty" will be punished.
The accident occurred when the private boat 'Ma Kamala' was headed to Majuli from Nimati Ghat and ferry 'Tripkai', operated by the state's Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department, was coming from the riverine island.
"The boat capsized and sank," an official of the IWT Department said.
However, boat accidents are pretty common in India, with many overcrowded boats not having safety equipment. Here’s a list of some of the worst boat accidents:
November 2020: A boat carrying nearly 50 people capsized in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, killing a 40-year-old woman, while seven others were feared drowned. The incident took place in Naugachia police district, around 30 km from Bhagalpur, when agricultural labourers were crossing a river by boat to go to their fields.
September 2019: Several people drowned when a sightseeing boat capsized on the swollen Godavari River in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The boat capsized on 15 September after being caught in a whirlpool. Twenty-six persons survived the accident and 46 bodies have been traced to date. The boat was brought out of the river and pulled to the shore on 22 October. In May 2018, 30 people were killed when a similar boat carrying local people capsized in the same region.
September 2018: A mechanised boat capsized in the Brahmaputra river near north Guwahati in Assam. At least three people were confirmed killed. Officials later found that the vessel, which was built to carry no more than 15 people, had 29 passengers and crew aboard, as well as seven motorbikes and two cycles.
January 2017: At least 21 people were killed when two country boats capsized in river Ganga near NIT ghat at Patna in Bihar. Over 40 people were returning from diara area after participating Kite festival on occasion Makar Sankranti.
February 2014: At least 11 people, including women and children, were killed and several others went missing after a motorboat carrying about 120 passengers capsized in the reservoir of the Hirakud Dam in Odisha.
May 2012: At least 103 people drowned on an overloaded ferry carrying about 300 people, which sank at night in the Brahmaputra river in Assam. Eyewitnesses told police the vessel was old and broke in two after capsizing in the swollen river.
January 2013: Four tourists from Tamil Nadu died after a houseboat carrying tourists overturned in the backwaters at Alappuzha.
June 2010: At least 62 dead when the overloaded boat carrying members of four families capsized midstream near Oivallia village in Uttar Pradesh. The country boat, which was meant to carry 40 to 45 persons, was reportedly carrying 84 persons without a licence.
September 2009: A double-decker passenger boat sank in Lake Thekkady in Kerala, killing 45 tourists. Reports had stated that the accident occurred when a large number of passengers rushed to one side of the boat to see a herd of bison which emerged from the forest.
July 2002: At least 29 passengers of a ferry drowned in the Vembanad lake when it capsized between Muhamma and Kumarakom in Kuttanad.
With inputs from agencies