11 missing as overloaded boat capsizes in Wardha River in Maha

In a major tragedy, at least 11 persons are missing and feared drowned after an overloaded boat with 30 persons aboard suddenly capsized in the Wardha River in Maharashtra's Amravati district on Tuesday morning, police said.

The incident occurred around 10 a.m. when the boat was sailing to the opposite bank of the river near Shrikshetra Jhunjh, falling under the jurisdiction of Benoda Shaheed Police Station of Amravati.

Hearing the cries for help, several villagers jumped into the river to save the victims and also alerted the local police.

Till afternoon, three bodies, including of a two-year old girl, have been recovered and another eight are still reported missing, while the rest have survived with minor injuries.

The police, along with teams of divers and the villagers, have launched a massive search operation for the missing who are feared drowned over four hours after the incident.

A majority of the victims are said to be from a single clan who had gone to Gadegaon to attend the post-funeral rituals of a deceased relative.

Later they went to the Mahadev Temple in Varud area when the tragedy engulfed them.

The bodies of Narayan Matare, 45, Kiran Khandare, 28, and two-year old Vanshika Shivankar have been recovered so far.

Search continues downstream for the others - Nisha Matare, Piyush Matare, Aditi Khandare, Mohini Khandare, Ashwini Khandare, Vrishali Waghmare, Atul Waghmare, and Poonam Shivankar.

Locals said that the Wardha River has been swollen since the past one week due to heavy rains in Wardha, Amravati, Chandrapur, and Gadchiroli districts of eastern Maharashtra.

Though the exact cause of the accident is not clear, villagers said that the boat may have sunk as it was packed over its capacity and the victims may have been dragged away by the strong currents.

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