The rescue operation in the boat tragedy in Patna was halted for the night on Saturday, and it would resume on Sunday morning. Speaking to reporters, Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal said, “The rescue operation has been stopped for the time being due to darkness. It will resume in the morning.” He said the NDRF, SDRF and civil and police officials would guard the area thoughout the night and the divers would start fresh search for vicitms.
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The DM said prima facie it appears that the boat capsized either due to overloading or collision with another country boat, mid-water.
He said the tragedy, which claimed at least 19 lives, occurred around 200 metre from Sambalpur diara (riverine) area on another side of Ganga which falls under Sonepur area of Saran district.
Aggarwal said it has come to light that these people had gone for am unauthorised ‘Disneyland fair’ near Sambalpur diara area in Saran district and boarded the country boat to return to Patna side when mishap occurred mid-stream. At least 20 people, including some minors, drowned when Makar Sankranti festivities ended in a tragedy after a boat capsized on the Ganga here today. Around 40 people were said to be onboard the country boat.