At least 14 school students and two teachers drowned after their boat capsized in the Harni Lake on the outskirts of Vadodara, Gujarat on Thursday.
They belonged to a private school and were visiting the lake for a picnic, PTI news agency reported.
Sixteen students and two teachers were rescued after the capsize. The National Disaster Response Force said that sludge accumulated at the bottom of the lake had hindered rescue operations.
Gujarat education minister Kuber Dindor said the NDRF and the fire brigade personnel have been deployed for the search operation. After hours-long rescue operation, chief fire officer Parth Brahmbhatt said there was no one missing.
“Distressed by the loss of lives due to a boat capsizing at the Harni lake in Vadodara. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. May the injured recover soon. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected. An ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000,” Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, “The news of the death of many students, including teachers, due to the boat capsizing in Vadodara, Gujarat is extremely heart-wrenching. Many students are still reported missing in this accident. The Gujarat government and administration are requested to expedite the relief and rescue operations and make every possible effort to save the lives of the students. In this hour of grief, we stand with the bereaved families and express our deepest condolences.”