At least eight people including a child drowned and reportedly several others were missing when an overloaded boat capsized in the Sutlej River in Okara district of Pakistan on November 18, according to the reports. The incident took place when around 20-25 people were on their way to attend a funeral and the boat tilted to one of its sides due to overload, filled with water and sank.
Police said that reportedly eight people lost their lives in the dreadful incident and the toll was expected to rise. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Maryam Khan, said that the boat was carrying 20 to 25 people at the time of the accident and the rescue fears that the toll may rise. He said the primary reason for the accident is overloading.
The residents of the area initiated a rescue operation immediately after the accident, according to the eyewitnesses. Boat accidents due to overloading are very common in Pakistan. At least four people drowned and 15 were rescued after a boat carrying 40 passengers drowned in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Haripur district in July this year. The boat was carrying passengers along the Indus River from Shangla to Haripur district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Senior police official Mohammad Ali Babakhel said that the incident took place in a very remote location. The authorities said that the flow of the water is very fast and the river is extremely deep. Babakhel said that the locals in the northern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa frequently use boats because the roads are not well maintained in the region. There were 40 people aboard the boat when the incident occurred and 13 people saved their lives by swimming to the shore, according to the local police.