Patna: The death toll in a boat capsize in Patna rose to 24 on Sunday as Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh blamed Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for the tragedy.
The dead included men, women and children who had gone to a kite-flying festival organised on the sandbar across the ghats to coincide with Makar Sankranti.
The boat – designed to carry 25 people – had at least 50 people on board when it overturned on its way back to Patna.
“This is the failure of the state government which didn’t make proper arrangements,” Singh told ANI.
The prime minister announced an ex-gratia from of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.
Rescue operations are on but chances of the 12 missing people surviving look dim, officials say. Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe and announced a payout of Rs 4 lakh for families of the victims.