Indian Ferry Capsizes Killing 103, Many Others Missing

Posted May 1st, 2012 at 1:30 am (UTC-5)
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Divers and rescue teams in northeastern India have resumed their search for more than 100 people still missing after an overcrowded ferry capsized on one of the country's largest rivers.

At least 103 people drowned after the double-decker ferry capsized and broke into two pieces late Monday in the swollen Brahmaputra River.

The police chief of Assam state, Jayanta Choudhury, said about 100 people either were rescued or managed to swim to safety in the Dhubri district, near the border with Bangladesh.

The overloaded ferry was carrying about 300 passengers along with sacks of rice and other goods. No lifeboats or life jackets were onboard.

The accident is the worst of its kind in recent memory in India's northeastern region. Rescuers were hampered by torrential pre-monsoon rains and heavy winds.

Indian authorities say they contacted officials in Bangladesh for help in the search for survivors. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was “shocked and grieved” by the incident.

The Brahmaputra – one of Asia's largest rivers – originates in Tibet, then flows through India and Bangladesh and into the Bay of Bengal.