BBC – At least 12 pupils and two teachers are thought to have drowned in western India, after a boat ferrying them to a school picnic capsized on Thursday. Local police confirmed the number of deaths to BBC Gujarati and said a rescue operation is still ongoing.
The cause of the incident, which happened on Harni Lake in Vadodara, in the state of Gujarat, is not yet known.Around 27 people were aboard the boat, according to local authorities.Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot told the BBC as many as seven people have been rescued from the water, and are undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital.He also said the victims had not been provided life jackets during the boat ride, according to the Reuters news agency.
In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief”.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said the state government would give 400,000 rupees ($4,800; £3,800) to the families of the deceased and 50,000 rupees ($600; £475) to the families of those injured in the accident.
Boat accidents are not uncommon in India, where vessels are often overcrowded, poorly maintained and lack safety equipment.
Last year, 22 people died after a boat capsized in India’s southern Kerala state.