MEDERTARY GHAT, May 3 � Altogether 12 bodies of the passengers of the ill fated ferry which capsized near the Medertary ghat following a cyclone were recovered today, but at least 200 persons are still reported missing. Meanwhile, the vessels are still carrying overload of passengers even after the tragic accident.
The search operation gathered momentum today after the visit of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to the spot yesterday, while, the local people were also allowed to join the search operations. Most of the bodies were recovered by local people today, while, 20 divers of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are also working for the last three days. It is believed that a number of bodies could be swept towards Bangladesh but it is still not known whether any body was recovered in the neighbouring country.
The bodies were recovered between one to six kilometer downstream of the spot where the accident took place. The local people saw three bodies floating on the river early this morning and they informed the administration immediately. The bodies recovered today were identified to be those of Samsul Khatun (28 years), Sahida Khatun (22), Moysul Bewa (45), Ashraful Islam (4), Haiton Nesa( 40), Beharun Nesa (45), Abu Taher (25), Samsul Haque (46), Soleman Ali (14 months), Anju Ara Parbin (13) and Mumtaz Ali (55). One person is yet to be identified.
The post mortem examination of the bodies recovered was carried out in the Medertary hospital before handing over to the relatives. However, bodies of those recovered on the first night were taken away by the relatives without carrying out post mortem examination.
Till date, no one is sure as to how many persons were travelling on the ill fated vessel. Around 350 persons bought ticket to board the vessel but a large number of others were travelling without tickets and the children below 12 years of age can travel without ticket. Most of the women and children were travelling inside the vessel while, majority of the males travelled on the roof top and they managed to jump into the water, while, the women and children were trapped inside the vessel.