Capsized Ferry In India, 35 Dead, 165 Missing

Nearly 35 people have been confirmed dead with as many as 165 still missing after a ferry in Northeastern India capsized in bad weather late Monday.

The ferry was reported by some to have been carrying around 350 passengers on both a lower level and upper level while other reports conflict with that number. The incident occurred in a remote area of the Brahmaputra river near Fakiragram in west Dhubri district.

As is the norm in India the ferry was overcrowded with no regard to safety, when high winds, rain and rough water caused the ferry to capsize and break into two. Assam state police chief J.N. Choudhury said that about 150 of the people traveling on the upper-level swam to safety or be rescued.

The remoteness of the area has hampered the rescue and the facts coming forward have been sketchy due to the lack of communication. Some reports were that the boat only held 200 passengers while others report it was a small boat with only 5 dying. Most reports confirm though that at least 35 are dead and 165 still missing.

The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in either case, has issued a statement expressing shock and grief at the loss of life.

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