Burdwan/Shantipur: Bodies of 12 persons, including a child, have so far been fished out from river Bhagirathi where an overcrowded boat sank on Saturday night.
Burdwan district magistrate Saumitra Mohan told PTI that the bodies of seven men, four women and a girl child were recovered during search operations since last night.
The bodies were found within 1-1.5 km radius of the spot where the overcrowded boat had capsized, he said. Photographs of the bodies have been sent to Kalna and Shantipur police stations to enable their relatives to identify them.
The accident had sparked violent protest in Nadia district yesterday during which several boats were torched and police fired tear gas and lobbed rubber bullets to quell the mob.
The boat ferrying at least 55 people, much above its capacity, overturned in the river on Saturday night as the people were pn their way back to Shantipur in Nadia district on the opposite bank from a fair at Kalna in Burdwan district.
Nadia District Magistrate Vijay Bharti had said last night that the body of a 35-year-old woman was recovered from the river bed near Shantipur.
The Burdwan District Magistrate said search operation was still on to "find out if ther are any more victims". On the alleged delay in rescue operations, Mohan had said the river current, depth of the river and the muddy water had made the job of the divers "very difficult".
The Burdwan DM had said "overloading" was one of the suspected causes which led to the incident.