HATSINGIMARI/GUWAHATI, April 30 � Over 100 people, most of them women and children, are traceless while 40 persons have been confirmed to have died following a boat mishap near the Medertary Ferry Station on Brahmaputra under Hatsingimari Subdivision of Dhubri district around 5 pm this evening, according to State DGP, Jayanta Narayan Choudhury.
The spot is around 50 km north of Hatsingimari and around 15 km east of district headquarter town Dhubri and is inaccessible by road.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has mourned the death of the ferry passengers at Medertary. Governor JB Patnaik, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi have expressed grief over the incident. Gogoi has directed the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary Revenue to monitor the rescue operations.
The ferry boat which left Dhubri around 3pm to Medertary with over 200 passengers, grocery items and some motorcycles on board, had almost reached the ferry station when it entered the eye of a cyclonic gust. Under the impact of the cyclonic storm, the boat got itself wrecked into pieces and sunk in the river with its occupants.
Some of the passengers managed to swim over to the bank while around 50 per cent of them remained traceless till 7-30 pm. Sixteen bodies of those ill-fated passengers have been recovered till filing of this report and two of them are women while one of them is a child. One of the women has been identified to be Hafiza Khatun (35) a teacher of the EGS centre Number-186. Her husband Samsul Haque is also traceless till filing of this report.
None of the civil and police administration officials was able to reach the spot of the tragedy, till filing of this report. Local people, who were conducting the rescue operations on their own, had to stop their activities due to darkness and bad weather condition.
Local people have been contacting the National Disaster Response Force and District Disaster Management Authority to send parties for resuming the rescue operations.