THATTA: At least 17 people have been killed as a boat carrying more than 50 pilgrims capsized near the coastal town of Bohara on Thursday, rescue sources said.
Five women, six men, and three children died in the incident, rescue sources reported, adding that 47 passengers were rescued and shifted to the hospital.
Around 80 pilgrims, including women and children, were on their way to a shrine ‘mela’ (fair) when their boat capsized in the open sea, Thatta Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Haseeb Afzal said, adding that the boat was overloaded with passengers.
Pilgrims including women and children were on their way to attend the annual Urs at the shrine of Pir Pathai. They are believed to be members of the Dawoodi Bohra community.
SSP Afzal further said that the incident took place near the shore and 52 passengers were successfully rescued.
According to initial reports, bodies of two women, two children and a man were brought to Sheikh Zayed Sakro Hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Strong winds coupled with an overloaded boat are considered to have played a role in the accident.
Thatta district commissioner informed the chief minister that 20 people have so far been rescued. Rescue efforts are underway to save the remaining passengers from drowning, officials added.
Pakistan Navy teams left for the site of the incident for a rescue operation on Wednesday evening, 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.
The area commissioner, on the other hand, said that two boats had collided in a creek 30 kilometres away from Boharo village, whereas Hyderabad Deputy Inspector General Jawed Alam Odho said one boat had capsized.