Gujarat Tragedy: 13 Students, 2 Teachers Dead On School Trip After Boat Capsizes In Vadodara Lake; Rescue Video Surfaces

Gujarat Tragedy: 13 Students, 2 Teachers Dead On School Trip After Boat Capsizes In Vadodara Lake; Rescue Video Surfaces

According to available information, students of New Sunrise School in Vadodara went on a trip to the Harani Lake, where a major tragedy unfolded.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 08:18 PM IST
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A day meant for joy turned into a chilling tragedy as a boat carrying school children and teachers capsized in Motnath Lake, Harani, Vadodara, on Thursday afternoon. The incident claimed the lives of 15 individuals, including 13 school children and 2 teachers, leaving the city in shock and mourning.

Students from New Sunrise School in Vadodara were on a school excursion to Motnath Lake. Ignoring safety protocols, the boat took on more passengers than its designated capacity, setting sail for a seemingly harmless joyride around the lake. However, disaster struck midway through the trip. The overloaded boat, reportedly lacking proper safety equipment, suddenly capsized, plunging its occupants into the murky waters.

Panic erupted as screams filled the air. The fire department was immediately alerted, and rescue teams rushed to the scene. A frantic scramble to save lives ensued, with divers battling against time to pull survivors from the water. While 23 students and 4 teachers were rescued, the grim reality unfolded as the search continued. By evening, it was confirmed that 15 individuals, including the majority of children, had lost their lives in the tragedy.

PM announces ex-gratia amout of Rs 2 lakh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow over the unfortunate incident and announced ex-gratia amount for the families of deceased.

"Distressed by the loss of lives due to a boat capsizing at the Harni lake in Vadodara. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. May the injured recover soon. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," the PMO wrote on X.

Chief Minister Expresses Condolences, Orders Relief

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel took to Twitter to express his grief and condolences. "Extremely heartbroken by the drowning of children after the boat overturned in Vadodara's Harni lake. I pray for the peace of the souls of the innocent children who lost their lives. My deepest condolences to their families," he tweeted, urging the administration to provide immediate relief and treatment to the survivors.

Leader of Opposition in Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), Ami Rawat, raised serious questions about negligence and safety lapses. "Had the children and teachers worn life jackets, this tragedy could have been averted," she stated, highlighting the potential lack of proper safety equipment on board. Rawat further criticized the authorities, pointing to a similar incident years ago in Sursagar where safety measures were promised but apparently not implemented.

"It is reported that more children than the boat capacity were boarded, raising doubts about basic safety protocols being followed," she added, questioning the quality of life jackets, as reports suggested even those wearing them could not be saved. Rawat demanded stern action against those responsible, stressing that compromising the safety of children was unforgivable.

As rescue operations concluded, an investigation into the cause of the capsize has been launched. Authorities are probing questions of overloading, equipment failure, and potential negligence. The quality of life jackets and compliance with safety regulations are also under scrutiny.

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