Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 18 (ANI): Around 150 people, stranded in the middle of the Gandak River on a boat in Kushinagar on Thursday night, were successfully rescued by NDRF in an overnight operation.
"STRANDED RESCUED #FloodRescue #Committed2Serve @NDRFHQ TEAM @11Ndrf rescues Stranded persons From Boat Gandak river/Bharwapatti Kushinagar(UP) Night Ops," tweeted NDRF DG Satya Narayan Pradhan from his official Twitter handle today.
Speaking to ANI, NDRF official PL Sharma said, "A boat which was carrying around 150 people was stuck in the river due to engine failure. A team was immediately dispatched from the Gorakhpur NDRF centre and reached at around 2:20 am here."
"After reaching the spot we launched the rescue operation within 10 minutes. It took time to get to the part of the river where the boat was stuck because some part of the river was walkable and some part was not. Yet our rescuers rescued each and every person stuck in the boat. Around 30-40 people rescued on country boats, rest rescued too. Nobody's stranded now," he added.
"The boat after getting stuck went with the flow of the river and got further carried away upto 3 km. It got stuck near Barwa Patti Ghat of Tamkuhi tehsil from where it had drifted to Amawa Digar. The District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police were also present throughout the rescue operation which went on all night. Villagers were returning after cultivation on their agricultural lands on the other side of the river. Those on the boat included women and children," said a local.
"I was informed by my father that a boat with around 200 people was stuck in the nearby Narayani river due to shortage of diesel. I arranged diesel and four boats and rushed to the spot. We were able to rescue some while others were still stuck on the boat." Rinku Kumar Patel, a local told ANI before the NDRF reached to carry out the rescue operation.
Kushinagar District Magistrate S Rajalingam said, "We got the information that around 200 people were stuck in a boat in the middle of the river. As soon as we received the information we rushed to the spot... We also informed NDRF and SDRF."
"We had boarded the boat at around 2 pm. In the midst of the journey, oil had finished so it was filled. A pipe ruptured due to which all the oil had leaked out and the boat's engine stopped working. We were afraid for our lives because of rough weather conditions and as we were travelling with family, children," said a villager.
"Continuously people's lives are being exposed to danger as people's agricultural lands are on the other side and they go there for cultivation. The government should either construct a bridge or boats should be made available to take the villagers safely to their destination," said another villager. (ANI)