June 16, 2018 9:49:13 pm
An eight-year-old girl died while three others continue to be missing on Saturday after a tourist boat carrying a party of 16 capsized in a storm on Odisha’s Chilika Lake. The accident is believed to have occurred between 5:30 to 6:00 pm. The lake experienced strong gusts of wind followed by cyclonic weather.
“The search has become really difficult since we lost daylight. The temporary lights fitted on to the rescue boats do not provide sufficient lights”, said a fire officer, adding that the search for three remaining members may have to resume in the morning. A team of nearly 40 personnel comprising local fire officers, ODRAF, naval academy members, police and boatmen from the lake are carrying on a massive search for survivors.
The little girl was recovered from the lake, but declared dead by doctors in the local Balugaon hospital. Of the 12 people rescued, two continue to remain ‘critical’ say rescue officers. The tourists are believed to be locals, from Nayagarh, Ranpur, and Bhubaneswar.
The tourists were said to have been returning from Chilika’s Kalijai Island, which has a famous temple, to Balugaon when they were caught in the storm. It is not clear if they were on a licensed tourist boat and were wearing life jackets on board.
“Kalijai is a dangerous spot and we have always strongly urged visitors to return before sunset”, said Additional Chief Executive of Chilika Development Authority Sasmita Lenka.
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