TURA, Sept 18 - Ten people, mostly children, drowned in Sabang river near Nidanpur village under Tikrkilla police station when four boats capsized in a severe storm on Sunday.
The tragic incident took place after completion of a boat race organized by the local MDC of Naguapara, Dhormonath Sangma. Incidentally, the mishap site was about 100 metres from what was home to the deceased.
The victims were all residents of Joriabil and Pamerbela villages, close to the confluence of the Sabang and Jinjiram tributaries of the Brahmaputra river along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
Immediately after the incident, police teams of both the states rushed to the spot and started operation to fetch the bodies of the victims as well as rescue others. An FIR into the incident was later lodged at Lakhipus police station of Goalpara district in Assam.
The victims have been identified as Amjad Ali, Abdul Karim, Mukkaddar Alom, Jeleka Khatun, Sumaya Yasmin, Rohima Begum, Sultana Yasmin, Selima Yasmin, Sorif Ali and Masuma Begum.
Sources said more than 45 people fell into water after their boats turned over in strong winds, but most of them were able to swim to safety.
The deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills, where the boat race took place, said an inquiry into the incident was being sought.