Srinagar tragedy: Six dead, three missing as boat capsizes In Jhelum at Gundbal

April 17, 2024

Srinagar:  Six people including school students drowned while three others including a father-son are missing after a passenger boat capsized in Jhelum at Gundbal Batwara on Tuesday morning. Five people have been rescued in the incident.

Around 15 people were on board the boat including several students to cross the river when the boat hit a steel pillar of the underconstruction bridge due to which the boat capsized.

Soon after the incident, rescuers comprising the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police reached the spot of the accident and launched a massive rescue operation. According to local inputs, the joint team of rescuers has retrieved the bodies of six people including five students. Five people have been rescued while three are missing. The identity of the victims was not immediately known.

Locals said that a bridge connecting Gundbal with Srinagar has been under construction for the past decade due to which the local people have to resort to boats to cross the river. Had the bridge been completed, the accident would not have happened.

Jhelum River has swollen for the past couple of days amid heavy downpours in Kashmir valley which has affected normal life.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat said that six people have died in the incident while three including two children are still missing for which a massive search operation is going on. Reports said that a father-son duo is among the missing persons.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor besides former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti expressed anguish over the incident.

“I am deeply grieved by the loss of lives due to a boat accident in Srinagar. My thoughts are with the bereaved families & I pray to the Almighty to give them strength to withstand this immense loss. Team of SDRF, Army & other agencies are carrying out relief & rescue work,” LG Sinha wrote in a post. “Administration is providing all possible help to the bereaved families who have lost their near and dear ones and medical facilities to those who have been injured. Marcos teams have also been alerted. I am constantly monitoring the situation and guiding the team on the ground,” he added.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed concern over the boat capsizing incident. In a post on X, Omar wrote, “Deeply concerned by the reports of a boat capsizing on the river Jhelum at Lasjan, near Srinagar. I hope and pray that all on board this boat are rescued safely and swiftly”.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti too expressed anguish about the boat capsizing incident. “Shocked to hear about the tragic accident in Batwara where a boat capsized. Reports coming in of several children dead. My deepest condolences to their families & I urge the administration to extend all help possible,” she wrote in a post on X.

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