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At least eight drown in flash floods during idol immersion in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri; PM Modi 'anguished' by mishap

The incident took place around 8.30 pm on Wednesday when hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the Mal river to participate in the immersion ceremony on Vijayadashami.

At least eight drown in flash floods during idol immersion in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri; PM Modi 'anguished' by mishap

New Delhi: At least eight people, including four women, drowned and several others went missing after they were swept away in the Mal river due to flash floods during idol immersion on Vijayadashami in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Wednesday (October 5, 2022). The incident took place around 8.30 pm when hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the Mal river to participate in the immersion ceremony.

"All of a sudden, flash floods struck and people were swept away. So far, eight bodies have been recovered and we have rescued around 50 people," Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara told news agency PTI.

She informed that 13 people, who received minor injuries, were admitted to a nearby hospital.

"The search and rescue operations are underway and being carried out by teams of the NDRF, SDRF, police and local administration. The search operations have started downstream," Godara added.

State Backward Class Welfare Minister Bulu Chik Baraik, who is the MLA from the Mal Assembly constituency and was present at the spot when the incident happened, feared that the death toll may increase.

"Several people were swept away and the water current 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 spot to oversee the relief and rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that he is "anguished by the mishap" in Jalpaiguri.

"Anguished by the mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones," the PMO quoted Modi as saying.

(With agency inputs)

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