Death toll in Jamshoro boat tragedy rises to eight, search for five continues

Updated May 20, 2019

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RESCUERS on Sunday evening continue a search for the five persons missing after the boat tragedy.—Dawn
RESCUERS on Sunday evening continue a search for the five persons missing after the boat tragedy.—Dawn

DADU: A Pakistan Navy (PN) rescue team along with local divers continued a search operation on Sunday to find five missing persons who drowned when the boat they were riding capsized in Indus River near Budhapur forest in Manjhand taluka of Jamshoro district on Saturday evening.

The operation was widened to the Indus course along the Unnarpur forest but only one body, of a one-year-old boy, Imran, son of Khan Mohammad, could be fished out in a day-long search.

Giving details of the tragic incident and rescue operation, Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner retired Captain Fareeduddin Mustafa said that the boat was carrying 19 people when it keeled over in the Indus along the Budhapur forest area at around 7:30pm on Saturday. He said strong winds might have caused the tragic incident.

He said six people were rescued as local divers immediately started their work. Five bodies were also found within a few hours of the incident, he added.

During the search operation that continued into the night the bodies of two women were fished out whereas that of the one-year-old boy was taken out on Sunday, leading the death toll to eight — five women and three children.

The area police, a PN rescue team and a large number of local divers were taking part in the operation which was continuing till the last reports came in at around midnight. Survivors said that five of the boat occupants were still missing.

All the victims belonged to the Machhi community and were residents of Dara Machhi village. They had left their village to proceed to Matiari when the boat capsized.

The district administration identified the deceased as Ms Qaima, 35, wife of Punhoon, Gul Zadi, 30, wife of Meer Hassan, Shahzadi, 25, wife of Sikandar, Ms Asat, 50, wife of Kamal, Ms Popri, 35, wife of Khan Mohammad, Imran, 1, son of Khan Mohammad, Abdul Wahab, 4, son of Sono, Sikandar, 2.

According to DC Mustafa, those still missing were three women and two boys. “The search for them is continuing as a fresh team of rescuers has been employed,” he said. Four boats have been arranged for the job, he added.

The operation is being supervised by Additional Deputy Commissioner-I and II, Shaukat Ali Ujjan and Sohail Arain, respectively. They have set up a relief camp at a site close to the area of operation.Jamshoro SSP Tauqir Mohammad Naeem told reporters that police personnel from Manjhand, Sann, Khanote, Unnarpur and Budhapur had been detailed to conduct the search within their respective jurisdiction.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2019