A video of Assam boat tragedy is circulating on the social media. The video shows the exact moment when two boats with nearly 100 passengers on board crashed into each other at Nimati Ghat in Jorhat on Wednesday.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reached Jorhat on Thursday to oversee rescue operations following the incident in the Brahmaputra river. He said one person died and two have been reported missing and 87 people have been rescued so far.
He added that a magisterial probe will be ordered into the incident. Three officials of the inland water transport department have been suspended after the accident.
The video was shared by All India Unorganized Workers Congress, an arm of the Congress party. In the video, passengers in one of the boats, including women, can be seen screaming in horror. They later jumped into the river and swim to the other boat.
One of the boats, a ferry run by the government, was coming from Majuli (a river island district) to Nimati Ghat with around 90 people on board while the other was going in the opposite direction.
Jorhat Medical College and Hospital's Superintendent Purnima Barua said 11 passengers were admitted to the hospital, of whom one died and three were released.
The victim was identified as Parimita Das, who hailed from Guwahati and was working as a faculty at Rangachahi College in Majuli.
Officials of Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department said private boat 'Ma Kamala' was heading to Majuli from Nimati Ghat on the southern bank with passengers and vehicles, while government ferry 'MB Tipkai' was coming from the world's largest river island when the two collided.
As 'Ma Kamala' was run by private parties, they did not have any system to give tickets to passengers. So, the initial estimate of the passengers on board varied from 80 to 150 as per eyewitness accounts.