Nagaon, Oct. 9: Five children on their way to school drowned when the two boats, in which they were travelling to cross stretches of roads submerged by floodwaters, capsized in strong currents in Morigaon district this morning. The victims included two girls.
Bodies of all the five were recovered.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has instructed the director-general of police to conduct a probe into the incident and announced compensation to the victims’ families according to government rules.
While residents claimed that two more children were still missing, police said there were only five children on the two boats and all had been found.
Morigaon additional superintendent of police (headquarters) R.K. Handique said the children were rowing the boats themselves without supervision of adults, like they did everyday.
The first incident took place at Bhalukajuri and the second at Kutuhakota-Pavokati, about 4km apart and under the Mayong police station. The two mishaps occurred almost simultaneously.
The victims were identified as Syed Farid, 5, Nur Zaman, 8, and Samsuma Nesa, 6, students of Kutuhakota primary school and Habibur Rahman, 8, and Akhtara Begum, 12, of Bhalukajuri primary school.
School authorities said the students had left for their schools at around 8am, adding unit tests were scheduled for the day.
“Three of the children studied in Kutuhahota primary school while the others studied in Bhalukajuri primary school. Like on other days ever since the stretches of the two roads were inundated , they got onto the boats to cross the submerged portions. But they lost control of the boats because of strong currents generated by high velocity wind and incessant rain all through the morning,” Handique said.
According to a Morigaon district administration source, the flood situation in the district was still grim and as many as 80 per cent area in Mayong revenue circle was submerged while 50 per cent of neighbouring Bhuragaon revenue circle was also under water.