NEW DELHI, Jan 18: At least 14 students and two teachers died after a boat carrying them overturned in a lake on the outskirts of Vadodara city in Gujarat on Thursday, officials said. There were at least 27 students in the boat, Vadodara district collector A.B. Gor said.
A search operation was under way to trace the remaining students at the Harni lake, where the incident happened, they said.
President Draupadi Murmu, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel and others have condoled the deaths of the students and the teachers in the accident. Mr Modi also announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh from PMNRF to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has also announced a compensation of ₹4 Lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and ₹50,000 for the injured.
Earlier, Gujarat Education Minister Kuber Dindor said, “I have just learnt that six children died after a boat carrying school students overturned in a lake.” “Rescue operations are underway. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the fire brigade personnel are on the job along with other agencies,” he added.
“A boat carrying school students, who came here on a picnic, overturned in Harni lake in the afternoon. The fire brigade has so far rescued seven students, while search is on for the missing ones,” Vadodara’s chief fire officer Parth Brahmbhatt had said earlier. Few local residents rescued some children before the fire brigade personnel reached the spot, he said.
Expressing grief over the death of students and teachers, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, “The news of the death of many students as well as teachers in a boat capsize in Gujarat’s Vadodara is extremely heart-wrenching. “In this hour of grief, we stand with the bereaved families and express our deepest condolences,” Mr Kharge added.