Bengal trawler capsize toll rises to 76

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

KAKDWIP - The death count in the West Bengal trawler capsize in the Muriganga river rose to 76 Tuesday, as divers and locals recovered ten more bodies during search operations. Fifty-five people are still missing.

“The death toll is now 76. Today we recovered 10 more bodies,” South 24 Parganas additional district magistrate (relief) Nilanjan Shandilya told IANS Tuesday.

The trawler ferrying 220 people, mainly Muslim pilgrims, to Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas from Hijli Sharif in East Midnapore district, capsized Saturday morning in the mouth of Muriganga River where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. Eighty-nine people have been rescued so far.

As more than 72 hours have passed since the trawler capsized in the river near Ghoramara island, 150 km south of Kolkata, all the bodies were bloated and disfigured.

The search operations involved divers from the Indian Navy, the coast guard and the Kolkata Port Trust. The divers worked tirelessly despite a strong water current and low visibility due to a cloud cover. “This hampered the work of the divers,” an official said.

A helicopter and a hovercraft have been deployed to help in the search.

The search was called off for the day after dusk, and would resume Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of people are thronging the Kakdwip sub-divisional hospital and the banks of the Muriganga in search of their relatives.

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