18 missing as boat capsizes in Lal Bakaiya River, rescue efforts ongoing

RAUTAHAT: Search and rescue efforts are ongoing to find the 18 persons who went missing after a boat overturned in Lal Bakaiya River in Gaur Municipality, Rautahat on Saturday, officials say.

The boat ferrying around 40 passengers including women and children capsized mid-way as strong water currents in the flooded river dealt it a heavy blow.

Locals who had gone across the river to toil on fields and fetch grass got aboard the boat overlooking the rise in water levels following a flood in the river today.

According to local Sanjay Sahani, 22 people swam for their lives immediately after the boat flipped and saved themselves while 18 are still missing.

The District Police Office Rautahat immediately dispatched a team of police personnel including divers, Superintendent of Police Kedar Dhakal said. However, low visibility during night and high water levels have adversely affected the operation, he added.