Vadodara tragedy: At least 12 Gujarat pupils and two teachers killed after boat capsizes

Such incidents are common in India, where many vessels have inadequate safety equipment

The scene at Harni Lake in Vadodara on Thursday, where the boat overturned. AP
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At least 12 school pupils and two teachers were killed after a boat capsized in the Indian state of Gujarat on Thursday.

The boat was reported to be carrying at least 35 pupils and four teachers going on a picnic, when it overturned in Harni Lake in Vadodara, in the west of India.

Ten pupils have so far been rescued by emergency workers, including teams from local police and fire departments.

"Six bodies were brought to our hospital," Dr Ranjan Aiyer, medical superintendent at Sayajirao General Hospital in Vadodara, told The National.

"One girl was rescued and is undergoing treatment. Eight other bodies were taken to another hospital for postmortem."

He said those killed were 12 children and two female teachers.

The pupils and teachers were reportedly not wearing life jackets and the boat did not have any safety equipment, government officials said.

“Per initial information, the boat was carrying more students than its capacity and about seven or eight children have died,” said Keyur Rokadit of the local legislature. “Whoever is at fault will be punished. Our priority is to rescue as many children as possible.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and announced a compensation of 200,000 rupees ($2,400) for families of the dead. Gujarat is Mr Modi's home state.

Boats capsizing is common in India, where many vessels are overcrowded and have inadequate safety equipment.

In September, at least 10 schoolchildren died after a boat capsized at Madhupur Patti pier on the Bagmati river in the state of Bihar because of an unevenly distributed load.

Updated: January 19, 2024, 5:25 AM