The rescue operation is still going and it will continue even on Sunday morning, he said.
At least 20 people, including some minors, drowned when Makar Sankranti festivities ended in a tragedy after a boat capsized on the Ganga here today. Thousands of people had gathered on a sandy plain (diyara) in the middle of the Ganga near NIT Ghat to take part in the festival.
The state government, meanwhile, has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the family of each person who have lost their live in the incident. Those injured have been admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) where they are recuperating. It pulled out six of eight people.
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The incident took place around 6 p.m. when it had already turned dark.
NDRF deputy commandant Ravi Kant confirmed 19 deaths and said the boat might have capsized since it was overcrowded. Some eyewitnesses, however, claimed that two boats sailing close side by side capsized.
The state government had organized three-day kite festival on Makar Sankranti across the river Ganga. The other boats, around 10, were quite old. "This is a tragic incident and I have asked officials to intensify search and rescue operations", he said. Patna district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal and district police officials are camping at the site. The Opposition BJP's leaders were going to attend this feast on an invitation from JD (U) state chief Vashistha Narayan Singh.
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