Two passengers found dead, three still missing

Rautahat, August 26 

Two women, who had gone missing after a boat sank in the Lalbakaiya River in Rautahat yesterday evening, were found dead this morning. Three others, including a minor, are still missing.

According to District Police Office, Rautahat, Shanti Devi Sha, 65, of Tikuliya and Runa Devi Patel, 40, of Ishanath Municipality were found dead eight kilometres away from the incident site at Jamuwa Ghat of Shivahar, India. Police said the bodies were handed over to relatives after post-mortem at District Hospital, Rautahat, today.

Chief District Officer Govinda Prasad Rijal said Ushma Kumari Patel, 10, Om Prakash Chandrabanshi, 19, Indu Devi Patel, 40, have been missing. He also added that Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the Nepali Army have been searching for the missing.

CDO Rijal informed that District Disaster Management Committee would offer Rs one lakh to each of the deceased family as relief amount tomorrow.

The boat met with an accident after it collided with a pillar of an under construction bridge in the river. The flooded river swept away the boat, which was heading towards Tikuliya Ghat from Aauraiya area with 30 passengers last evening. Most of the passengers in the boat were returning home from their fields.  As many as 15 saved their lives by holding on to the iron centering used for construction of the bridge, while nine others saved their lives by swimming. Police said boatman Pappu Sahani was arrested on the same night and was released on bail.

Villagers of Tikuliya have been in grief after the incident. They did not celebrate Rakshya Bandhan due to the incident. The then prime minister Sushil Koirala had laid the foundation stone of the bridge over the Lalbakaiya River in 2015. The locals complained that they had lost two lives due to lack of bridge. As many as five persons had lost their lives after the boat turned turtle in the same river five years ago.