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21 dead, dozens missing as boat capsizes near Thatta

Naimat Khan

THATHA/KARACHI: At least twenty people were dead and dozens of other went missing when a boat overturned some 30 kilometers away from the coastal town of Mohara in Thatha district of Sindh.

According to details, the board carrying more than 180 pilgrims to the shrine of Pir Pathoro overturned. Other reports quoting different officials claim there over 120 pilgrims on boat when it capsized.

At least twenty-one dead bodies were recovered whereas nearly 50 people were saved in rescue operation.

According to rescue sources those found dead included five women, six men, and three children. The dead bodies were shifted to local hospital.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Thatta Haseeb Afzal the incident took place near the shore and 52 passengers were successfully off boarded by rescue personnel. Strong winds coupled with an overloaded boat are considered to have played a role in the accident.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Navy teams left for the site of the incident for a rescue operation on Wednesday evening, a Navy spokesperson said, adding that rescue boats were also dispatched. Divers, medical personnel, and rescue staff are part of the navy’s rescue team.

According to reports, most of the passengers are residents of Karachi.

There were conflicting reports on how the accident happened, how many boats were involved, and where it took place.

The Thatta DC said the accident took place as the overloaded boat lost balance and tipped over in a creek 30 kilometers away from Bohara. He added that the boat was carrying passengers travelling to the shrine of Pir Pathai to celebrate a festival.

Chairman Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Muhammad Ali Shah said that one boat capsized at the Bohara jetty when the boat tilted over as passengers rushed to exit it. He said there were nearly 100 passengers on board at the time.

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah has expressed his deep sorrow over the incident. He directed local administration to accelerate rescue operation and ensure best medical facilities for those brought to local hospitals.

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