At least 103 people were killed and dozens are still missing after an Indian ferry capsized in the Brahmaputra River in stormy weather on Monday.
The steamer was carrying more than 300 passengers and was caught in a storm midstream at around 4. 20 p.m in Assam state, northeast India. Times of India reported the accident as being one of the worst ever boat tragedies in the state of Assam with 103 bodies so far recovered.
CBS News reported that nearly 150 passengers who had been on board the ferry swam to the shore or were saved by rescue teams. Almost 100 people are still missing, however. The accident is believed to have been caused by strong winds and rain. The bad weather also hampered communications in the area.
BBC News claims the capsized boat had inadequate safety arrangements, with no life jackets or life boats. It also reports that the ferry was overcrowded as well as being overloaded with goods.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is said to have been shocked and grieved at the news of the boat tragedy and has ordered that Assam be provided whatever assistance is required to provide emergency relief.
In a more recent news report, The Economic Times stated that the ferry was designed to carry only 225 people as against the 350 passengers who were on board when the boat capsized. Their report says hopes of finding more survivors among the missing passengers are now dwindling.