New Year celebrations turned tragic to a group of picnickers after the boat they were travelling on capsized,Two person died while about eight others are feared drowned after a country boat, carrying more than 40 picnickers, capsized in river Mahanadi near Hukitola village of Kendrapara district on Wednesday.
Though the exact reason behind boat capsize incident was yet to ascertained, initial reports suggested that over-crowding and poor condition of the boat were held responsible for the mishap.The country boat was carrying the passengers more than its capacity.
About 40-45 people, mostly women and children, from Mangarajpur in Kujang block of Jagatsinghpur district had gone to the lighthouse at Hukitola for a picnic in the morning in a country boat. While returning, the boatman lost control over the boat which capsized at Balighat near Nepania at the Mahanadi confluence.
Fortunately, some local fishermen were returning to the shore when the accident took place and they rushed to rescue of the passengers. They could bring about 30 of them ashore.
Meanwhile, a rescue operation has been launched to trace the missing persons.21 Firefighters personnel divided into three teams joined the rescue work. and local fishermen were engaged in the rescue operation. While the Fire Brigade teams have begun the search operation, the district administration has sent an SOS to the state government to immediately send a team of ODRAF personnel to expedite the rescue work.