The death toll in the Wednesday night boat capsize incident in Odisha mounted to 10 with the recovery of one more body Friday, officials said. The members of the ODRAF (Odisha disaster rapid action force) team recovered the body of a six-year-old girl taking the death toll to 10, said Jagatsinghpur District Collector Jamini Sarangi. She said the deceased has been identified as Subhasmitra Swain of Hasina village of Kujang block. Of the 10 victims of the boat tragedy, eight were children while remaining two had been women.
A country boat carrying 55 people of Kujang area had capsized in the Mahanadi confluence at Balighat near Nepania in Kendrapara district on Wednesday night. The state government has announced Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia for each victims family. But the local people Friday staged agitation demanding more compensation and did not allow Minister Prafulla Samal, MP Kulamani Samal and MLA Debasis Samanatray to handover the ex-gratia amount to the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated the two brave girls of Nipania village in Kendrapara district for their heroic act of saving people from drowning during the Wednesday night capsize incident. "They (two girls) are the real heroes of Odisha and represent bravery and compassion of young Odisha," Patnaik said in a statement while praising the girls identified as Sasmita Giri and Purnima Giri.
Patnaik said the girls saved many lives during the tragedy notwithstanding the severe cold and crocodiles in the river. The girls, two sisters, reached the spot on hearing screams and jumped into the river not fearing the cold and crocodile. They managed to save around ten persons, including two women and some children, officials said.
(With inputs from agencies.)