Image from ANI
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Bihar boat tragedy, NIT ghat: 40 on board overturned in water, Patna

Bihar boat tragedy, Bit Ghat, Patna: In a tragic incident from Bihar, a boat carrying around 40 people, at least 23 people feared lost their lives due to drowning and many are said to be missing after a boat overturned  in the river Ganga in Patna on Saturday. 

As per the media report, more than 40 people were on board when the boat overturned at NIT ghat in Patna. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe into the incident.

The boat was on its way back after a kite flying festival which was organised in an island in the middle of the river as part of Makar Sankranti celebration, officials.

The incident took place around 6 p.m. when it had dark black.

While many of the passengers were able to swim to safety and reached the shore, at least six are still said to be missing.

"While eight people have so far been rescued by the NDRF team, at least 25 passengers managed to swim to safety," an ANI report said earlier. 

According to sources, it was a small boat and was overloaded with people, which led to its capsizing. The boat was about to reach the bank when the incident took place.

All senior officials along with local swimmers have reached the site and NDRF team has launched a major rescue operation in the river to trace on the missing people.

Patna district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal and district police officials are camping at the site.

Expressing grief over the boat tragedy, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that Mahatma Gandhi Setu rehabilitation foundation stone laying program, that was scheduled to be held on Sunday in Bihar, has been called off for now. Gadkari announced the news on Twitter.

Reacting to the incident Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief and asked the officials to fasten the rescue operations.

The Bihar government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the victims.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight expressed grief over Patna boat tragedy in which at least 23 persons lost their lives. 

"PM expressed grief on the loss of lives caused by the boat tragedy in Bihar. He extended condolences to the bereaved families," the Prime Minister's office tweeted.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi too expressed her grief at the loss of lives Bihar boat tragedy and expressed hopes that the government is ensuring adequate relief measures.