Several people were feared dead after two boats, reportedly carrying over 100 passengers, collided near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district of Assam on Wednesday. Officials said a private boat ‘Ma Kamala’ that was headed to Majuli from Nimati Ghat and a government-owned ferry ‘Tripkai’ that was coming from Majuli collided, resulting in one of the boats sinking in the Brahmaputra river.

“The boat ‘Ma Kamala’ capsized and then sank. We do not have much detail at this moment,” an official of the Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department said, PTI reported. 

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Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF are leading a search and rescue operation. Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ashok Barman told PTI that around 40 people have been rescued so far and no body has been found yet. 

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed the district administrations of Majuli and Jorhat to undertake the rescue mission expeditiously with the help of NDRF and SDRF. He also asked minister Bimal Bora to rush to the accident site. Sarma has also tasked Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Samir Kumar Sinha to monitor the developments round-the-clock.

“The Chief Minister himself will visit Nimati Ghat tomorrow for evaluating the situation,” a CMO statement said.

The chief minister tweeted that the Central government will be lending all possible help.

“Adarniya HM Sri Amit Shah had kindly called to enquire about the accident in Nimati Ghat and took an update on the rescue operations and conditions of those rescued so far. He said the Central Government is ready to lend all possible help. Grateful to him,” he tweeted. 

The boat was also reportedly carrying several four-wheelers and two-wheelers that went down the river.