A 50-year-old woman was found dead and two men are still missing after a boat capsized in the Kollidam river on Wednesday evening. The woman was identified as Rani.
The Fire and Rescue Services personnel fished Rani’s body from Anaikkarai in Thanjavur district, around 40 kilometres away from the site where the boat capsized. Speaking to TNM about the search and rescue operations, a senior officer at the Fire and Rescue Services Department, who is at the spot, said that it was only after the headcount this morning that they realised that three persons, who were on the boat, were missing. “Out of the 39 people who travelled in that boat, only 36 were present. We immediately launched search operations and recovered Rani’s body from around 40 kilometres from the spot of the capsize. The men who are missing are yet to be located. 60 personnel are searching for the two men in and around Anaikkarai region, where Rani’s body was found,” he said.
On Wednesday evening, a boat capsized in the middle of the Kollidam river, near Ramanallur in Ariyalur district. Passengers were on their way to Kabisthalam for a temple festival. A few minutes after the boat set out on its journey across the river, it reportedly started leaning onto one side and quickly turned over, throwing all the people aboard into the water. Though some of them managed to swim to a sand dune in the middle of the river, others had to swim to the nearest point or wait inside the water for help to arrive.
Since the boat capsized soon after it left the riverbank, the locals were one of the first persons to help the survivors. Others on the bank alerted the rescue services and the police immediately, who rushed to the spot.