India: 31 people drown as two boats sink in northern

Five bodies fished out after two seperate incidents in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

india 88 (photo credit: )
india 88
(photo credit: )
Twelve members of a wedding party were among 31 people feared drowned overnight in two separate boat accidents in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Saturday. "Two passenger boats sank killing 31 people in two different incidents. Only five bodies have been fished out so far," Anupam Shashank, a senior government official told the Associated Press from the state capital Lucknow. In the first incident 19 people drowned when an overcrowded boat carrying 25 people sank midstream in the Yamuna River in Kaushambhi district, 240 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Lucknow. Six people swam to safety but the others drowned, Shashank said. In the second incident a boat carrying 17 members of a wedding party sank in the Ganges River near Mirzapur, 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Lucknow. "Twelve people are feared dead and five swam to safety," Deputy Inspector General S.N. Sabat said. "Initial reports suggest that the boat was overloaded. Besides people, it was carrying marriage gifts, including a motorcycle and a double bed," he said. The bride and groom survived as they were traveling in another boat. Both accidents took place late Friday. Boat accidents are common in impoverished Uttar Pradesh state. Boats used to ferry passengers are generally badly maintained and people seldom use life jackets.