Thatta (December 8, 2017): The death toll from a capsized boat off Thatta coast rose to 22 on Friday.
According to the details, at least 22 people have been killed as a boat carrying more than 50 pilgrims capsized near the coastal town of Bohara, said rescue sources.
Whereas 47 passengers were rescued and shifted to the hospital, said that sources.
Around 80 pilgrims, including women and children, were on their way to a shrine ‘mela’ (fair) when their boat capsized in the open sea, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Thatta Haseeb Afzal said, adding that the boat was overloaded with passengers.
SSP Afzal further said that the incident took place near the shore and 52 passengers were successfully offboarded by rescue sources.
Strong winds coupled with an overloaded boat are considered to have played a role in the accident.
Pakistan Navy teams left for the site of the incident for a rescue, a Navy spokesperson said, adding that rescue boats were also dispatched. Divers, medical personnel, and rescue staff are part of the navy’s rescue team.
According to local rescue officials, the passengers were devotees seeking to attend the annual urs celebration of a sufi saint. They are believed to be members of the Dawoodi Bohra community.
The DC Thatta said the accident took place as the overloaded boat lost balance and tipped over in a creek 30 kilometres away from Bohara. He added that the boat was carrying passengers travelling to the shrine of Pir Pathai to celebrate a festival.
Chairman Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Muhammad Ali Shah said that one boat capsized at the Bohara jetty when the boat tilted over as passengers rushed to exit it. He said there were nearly 100 passengers on board at the time.