Hoogly: With the recovery of seven more bodies from Hooghly River on Friday and three on Thursday, and 1 body on Saturday from Chandannagore’s babughat, the toll in the jetty collapse incident in Bhadreswar rose to 14.
The bodies, , including that of a 19-year-old woman, were found floating in the river, police said. The NDRF personnel, who have been carrying out searches in 20 speed boats, found the bodies from near Jagaddal, Shyamnagar, Chandan Nagar and Gaurhati ghats along both sides of the river.
Of the 13 victims, seven have been identified, SP (Hoogly) Sukesh Jain said. At least eight persons are still missing.
“Total 13 bodies have been recovered. Rescue operations are underway as eight people are still missing,” Jain told The Indian Express. Thirteen people are being treated at Chandananagar subdivisional hospital, said police.
The four jetties near the incident spot have been kept closed for the time being, a source said.
Meanwhile, the four lease-holders of Telenipara jetty, who were arrested on Thursday, were Friday remanded to police custody for nine days.
“They are being interrogated. We have to first find out whose fault it was,” said a police official.
A high-level meeting was also held at Nabanno on Friday to discuss whether operation of jetties is safe and smooth, sources said.
The meeting was attended by all senior officials of Hooghly district and other departments concerned. Sources said the government is likely to run a ‘safe drive save life’ campaign for water transport. During the meeting, 16,000 small boats have also been identified, which are running illegally across the state. The government is likely to upgrade them to semi-mechanised boats, they added.
On Thursday, the local residents had taken out a protest rally, demanding immediate renovation of several jetties at Bhadreswar.
The incident took place on Wednesday after a portion of a jetty made of wood and bamboo collapsed in high tide. The accident occurred when the passengers were waiting at the jetty for boarding a boat to cross the river and reach Shyamnagar in North-24 Parganas district.
About three bodies were recovered immediately after the incident. Since then the rescue operation is on in the area.