Odisha, June 17: At least six people have died in Odisha’s Chilika lake after a boat capsized yesterday evening. The rest of the people including two boatmen have been rescued. Nearly 11 people were saved. The incident took place at 5:30 pm yesterday when the boat was ferrying tourists from Kalijai temple to Balugaon after they had attended the Raja celebrations. The Kalijai temple is located on an island and people have to cross the lake in order to reach there. According to Balugaon’s fire officer Nityanand Jena, the boat capsized due to strong gusty winds which hit the region and as a result the boat lost its balance.
Khurda Collector Nirmal Chandra Mishra said that a total of 6 bodies had been recovered from the Chilika Lake. Two were fished out on Saturday while four bodies have been recovered today morning. “With this the rescue operation is now complete, said Mishra.” Among the dead, there was a child, Shradhanjali Das who couldn’t be rescued.
Over 100 rescue personnel from the Indian Navy, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), fire services and local fishermen were involved in rescuing the people. An eight member team of the ODRAF from Chhatrapur in Ganjam district had rushed to the spot and assisted the fire services personnel last evening. Special relief commissioner and district administrations of Khurda and Ganjam were arranged by Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik last night so that rescue operations could speed up. He had also ordered free medical treatment to the injured. Apart from this, Odisha CM Patnaik also announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the deceased’s kin.