9 dead as rescue boat capsizes

Mubarak Ansari
Friday, 9 August 2019

“We are reaching out to the people. They should not panic. Wherever helicopters can go, they are being sent. The rescue work is hampered as water levels are not receding in most areas,” Fadnavis said.

PUNE: Nine people drowned, five were missing and 16 were rescued after a boat engaged in rescue work overturned in flood-hit Sangli district on Thursday morning. The deceased include a woman who had held her six-month-old child close to her chest and was found dead in the same position. 

After an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said as per preliminary information, the boat was deployed by the village panchayat to rescue people, but a branch of a submerged tree got entangled in its engine, causing it to overturn, leading to the tragedy.

“The mishap took place near Bramhanal village in Palus taluka,” said Deepak Mhaisekar. 

“The Gram Panchayat boat was ferrying around 30 people affected by the flood to a safer place. The carrying capacity of the boat was only 20,” added Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar. Bramhanal village is located on the banks of the Krishna river, which is in spate after the heavy downpour in the area. 

CM CONDUCTS AERIAL SURVEY
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, along with his Cabinet colleagues Chandrakanat Patil, Girish Mahajan and Eknath Shinde, made an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged areas.

“We are reaching out to the people. They should not panic. Wherever helicopters can go, they are being sent. The rescue work is hampered as water levels are not receding in most areas,” Fadnavis said. He said 223 villages are flooded and 18 villages are completely submerged.

Another 29,000 people are marooned, 9,000 have been rescued and another 97,000 moved out on their own to rescue camps. Around 38,000 flood victims have taken refuge in 152 relief camps set up by the government.Around 3,900 homes have been damaged or destroyed, over 200,000 people are without electricity. 

Around 390 water supply schemes are shut due to floods, and 67,000 hectares of farmlands have been ravaged, he said.

Efforts are being made to supply petrol and diesel in affected areas and if the national highways re-open by Friday, the work will be taken up in consultation with the oil marketing companies.

So far, over 1.35 lakh people have been rescued and shifted to safer locations.

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