Patna, September 14 (IANS) Ten schoolchildren were feared drowned when their boat capsized in the Bagmati river in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district on Thursday.
According to the district administration, while 20 students o a government school managed to swim to safety, ten others went missing in the incident, which took place around 11 a.m.
A rescue operation has been launched in the area with the help of NDRF, SDRF personnel besides local swimmers to trace the missing children.
The students were onboard the boat which overturned in the middle of the river at Madhurpatti Ghat under Beniput outpost in the district.
In a bid to earn money, the boatmen allow passengers beyond its capacity, the local police alleged, adding that the boat was overcrowded leading to the mishap.
Expressing his concern on the incident, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ordered an inquiry into the incident and directed the district magistrate and SSP of Muzaffarpur to provide adequate help to the family members of the missing children.
As soon as the news about the boat tragedy at the Madhurpatti Ghat spread, a large number of villagers assembled at the place.
Some of the family members blamed the education department for making 75 per cent attendance mandatory in schools.
They claimed that the infrastructure was not enough in the region to reach school safely. Students risk their lives to reach school to secure over 75 per cent attendance in the school.