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16 killed in boat capsize

Ahmedabad, April 4: The bodies of 16 pilgrims missing after yesterday’s boat capsize in Bharuch district have been recovered. Six are from Madhya Pradesh.

A boat, carrying 42 pilgrims participating in Narmada Parikrama, was caught in a storm at the spot where Narmada meets the Gulf of Cambay, about 200 km from here. The boat was on its way from Katpar to Jogeshwar.

Twenty-five passengers, including one woman, swam to safety, police said. Five sanyasins from the Hindu shrine at Tarapith were among the survivors of the boat disaster, adds our correspondent in Birbhum.

A senior official who spoke to the survivors said the boat capsized mid-river due to very strong currents.

Unconfirmed reports said the incident occurred because the boat was overcrowded. The boat with a capacity of 32 passengers was carrying 42 people.

At about 8.30 pm today, Umashankar Puri, one of the survivors telephoned the temple authorities saying that all of them were safe. The men had set off in November for an eight-month pilgrimage to various parts of India.

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