India: 18 dead as boat carrying pilgrims capsizes

October 31, 2010 08:54


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CALCUTTA, India  — Indian fishermen and navy were searching Sunday for dozens missing after a boat crowded with Muslim pilgrims capsized near the Bay of Bengal, killing at least 18, police said.

More than 100 people were packed onto the 60-capacity motorized boat when it was toppled by a wave from a passing ship Saturday afternoon in the mouth of the Hooghly River, West Bengal's deputy police director Surajit Kar Purkayastha said.

Local boatmen rescued 40 people and recovered 18 bodies, including three young girls, before rescue efforts were called off due to darkness. Thirty of the survivors were hospitalized, Purkayastha said.

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