At least eight people drowned and several others went missing after a flash flood hit the Mal River in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district where people had gathered to immerse the idol of Goddess Durga on the occasion of Vijayadashami. Among those who lost their lives in the tragic incident, four were women, reported PTI. According to the report, ten people have been hospitalised.
The incident took place around 8.30 pm on Wednesday when hundreds had gathered on the banks of Mal River for the idol immersion ceremony.
Rescue operations were undertaken by teams of NDRF, SDRF, police and local administration. Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara told PTI that eight bodies were recovered while 50 people were rescued. Visuals from the spot showed people struggling against the river current as they tried to move to the bank.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of the lives in the Jalpaiguri incident.
“Anguished by the mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones,” a tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office read.
State Backward Class Welfare Minister Bulu Chik Baraik, who is the MLA from the Mal Assembly constituency, said he was at the spot when the incident took place, and feared that the death toll could rise. Baraik and senior TMC leaders were also on the spot to oversee rescue operations.