WATCH: Eight swept away in flash floods in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri during idol immersion


Kolkata: At least eight people, including four women, were swept away in the Mal river in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri due to flash floods during Durga idol immersion on Vijaydashami. Several others went missing.

The incident took place around 8:30 pm on Wednesday, 6 October, when hundreds of people congregated on the banks of the Mal river to participate in the idol immersion ceremony.

In the video, shared by news agency ANI, people can been seen being washed away in the river water due to flash floods. People were heard screaming for help and locals and others present in the area jumped into action to rescue those affected.

"All of a sudden, flash floods struck and people were swept away. So far, eight bodies have been recovered and we have rescued around 50 people," News agency PTI quoted Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara as saying.

Godara further said that 13 people, who received minor injuries, were admitted to a nearby hospital.

The search and rescue operations are underway and being carried out by teams of the NDRF, SDRF, police and local administration. "The search operations have started downstream," she said.

State Backward Class Welfare Minister Bulu Chik Baraik, who is the MLA from the Mal Assembly constituency, feared that the death toll may rise.

"I was present at the spot when the incident happened. Several people were swept away and the water current was very strong. Hundreds of people were present when the incident took place. Several are still missing," he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari requested the state administration to step up the rescue efforts.

"Saddening news coming from Jalpaiguri as flash flood in Mal river during Durga Puja immersion swept away many people. Few deaths have been reported till now. I request the DM of Jalpaiguri & @chief_west to urgently step up rescue efforts & provide assistance to those in distress," he tweeted.

Jalpaiguri flash floods: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announces ex-gratia

The West Bengal government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured in the Jalpaiguri flash floods.

Helpline numbers - 03561230780 / 9073936815 - have also been released by the state government.

"A tragic flash flood hit the Mal River in Jalpaiguri as Durga Visarjan was underway. 8 people lost their lives, I pray that their families find strength & solace in these difficult times. 13 people are undergoing treatment at Mal SSH, I pray for their speedy recovery." West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoles loss of lives in Jalpaiguri flash floods

"Anguished by the mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones," PM Modi said.

In a tweet, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said "Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each of the deceased in the tragic mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. The injured would be given Rs 50,000."

With inputs from agencies

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WATCH: Eight swept away in flash floods in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri during idol immersion
WATCH: Eight swept away in flash floods in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri during idol immersion
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