Boat carrying devotees capsizes near Larkana

One man confirmed dead; 10 people missing, 20 rescued

Sarfaraz Memon February 10, 2017

SUKKUR: A boat, ferrying devotees of a saint, capsized on Friday night in the River Indus, some eight to ten kilometres away from Dokri area in Sindh’s Larkana district, killing at least one man.

At least thirty people – including women and children – were onboard the vessel when it capsized due to being overloaded only after covering a small distance. Till filing of the report, 20 people had been rescued. However, ten people were still missing.

The people had boarded the boat from the mausoleum of Muhabat Pir Patan, situated at the right bank of the River Indus. Reportedly the devotees had come from Khairpur and the incident occurred when they were returning.

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Larkana’s Deputy Commissioner Kashif Ali Tipu – who rushed to the scene after the incident – told the media that the person who was confirmed dead was identified as Dawood Channa. The man was alive when rescued by the locals but died after a while.

Tipu said it was difficult to carry out a rescue operation due to darkness and the operation will start on Saturday morning (today) with the help of divers from Pakistan Navy.

Sukkur division’s Commissioner Abbas Baloch – who was present at the site – told The Express Tribune that there are conflicting statements about the number of people onboard. “Some say there were 30 to 35 persons and seven motorbikes but others claim the number of the people was around 25,” he said.

He said so far only one body had been fished out. “Searchlights have been installed on the spot but it is difficult to continue the rescue work at night. The divers of Pakistan Navy will reach the site early in the morning and start the rescue operation,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2017.


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