At least eight drown in flash floods during idol immersion in Jalpaiguri in West Bengal; PM Modi ‘frightened’ by accident

New Delhi: At least eight people, including four women, drowned and several others went missing after being swept into the Mal River on Wednesday (October 5, 2022) due to flash flooding during idol immersion at Vijayadashami in western Jalpaiguri district. Bengal. The incident took place around 8:30 p.m. as hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the River Mal to participate in the immersion ceremony.

“Suddenly floods hit and people were wiped out. So far eight bodies have been recovered and we have rescued about 50 people,” Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara told PTI news agency.

She said 13 people, who suffered minor injuries, were admitted to a nearby hospital.

“The search and rescue operations are underway and are being carried out by teams from the NDRF, SDRF, police and local government. The searches have started downstream,” Godara added.

State Backward Class Welfare Minister Bulu Chik Baraik, the MLA of the Mal Assembly constituency and who was on the scene when the incident happened, feared the death toll could rise.

“Several people were swept away and the water flow was very strong. Hundreds of people were present when the incident took place. Several are still missing,” he said.

Baraik and other senior TMC leaders rushed to the site to oversee the relief and rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said he is “afraid about the accident” in Jalpaiguri.

“Concerned by the accident during the Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” the PMO quoted Modi as saying.

(With input from the agency)

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