At least one death has been confirmed after two passenger boats collided with each other in the Brahmaputra River in Assam's Jorhat on Wednesday, said Ankur Jain, SP Jorhat. Rescue operation is underway, he added.
The two boats were ferrying around 120 passengers and many of them are still missing, according to the national disaster response force (NDRF), which is engaged in rescue operations.
According to Jorhat Additional DC Damodar Barman, there were at least 50 people on board the boat which sank. The two boats were travelling in opposite directions at the time of the incident.
"There were around 50 people in the boat who met with the accident, out of which 40 people have been rescued," said Jorhat Additional DC Damodar Barman.
He added that the rescue teams are on the spot to launch operations.
"Two boats carrying approximately 120 passengers collided in the Brahmaputra river in Jorhat today, many passengers missing; rescue operation underway," DG NDRF Satya N Pradhan tweeted.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he has directed Majuli and Jorhat administrations to undertake rescue mission expeditiously with help of NDRF and SDRF.
"I am pained at the tragic boat accident near Nimati Ghat, Jorhat. Directed Majuli & Jorhat admin to undertake rescue mission expeditiously with help of @NDRFHQ& SDRF. Advising Min @BimalBorahbjp to immediately rush to the accident site. I'll also visit Nimati Ghat tomorrow" Sarma said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed anguish over Assam boat tragedy.
"Saddened by the boat accident in Assam. All possible efforts are being made to rescue the passengers. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being," PM Modi tweeted.
"Anguished to learn about the tragic boat accident in Assam. Have spoken to CM Shri @himantabiswa, the state administration is doing everything possible to rescue the people. We are continuously monitoring the situation. Also assured full support from the central government," tweeted Amit Shah.