Forty seven persons died in a boat mishap in the Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh's [ Images ] Ballia district.
A boat, carrying about 60 passengers, capsized on Monday morning, killing 47 people, including 18 men, 15 children and 11 women. According to reports reaching Lucknow [ Images ], 17 passengers managed to swim safely to the riverbanks. UP Additional Director General of Police Brj Lal attributed the tragedy to 'overloading'.
Lal said, "The total number of the dead was likely to go past 40, considering that only 17 survivors had been found so far and that the official rescue teams had already scanned a large part of the river and its banks in the downstream."
Ballia District Magistrate Senthil Pandiyan did not rule out the possibility of the bodies being swept further down by the gushing waters of the Ganga. "Our team are on the job to look for more bodies or survivors," he told rediff.com over telephone from Ballia.
Pandian said, "The overloaded boat was carrying members of four families from neighbouring villages, who had decided to jointly perform a 'mundan' ceremony (head-shaving ritual) of their children at a particular site along the banks of the Ganga river."
He added, "The mishap took place when the group was on its way back after the ritual."