10 swept away by Hooghly currents, one dead

A search operation in progress on the Hooghly, Wednesday. Express

One man died and a woman went missing after 10 people were swept away by strong currents while performing a ritual in the Hooghly at Manik Ghosh Ghat, said police officials.

The incident occurred on Tuesday night when a group of 10 mourners went for a dip at the Ghat after cremating a relative. All of them were swept away by strong currents, following which seven men and two women were rescued and rushed to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.  Of the nine, Prosenjit Mazumdar (32) was declared dead while the others were treated and discharged, said a senior police officer.

“Mitali Chowdhury (62) is still missing and a search operation (by a disaster management team) is on,” said the police officer.  Sources said no one in the group — all residents of Bagbazar in North 24 Parganas — knew how to swim.

The river’s currents were so strong that it broke some railings erected to stop people from entering the dangerous area, said the officer. Officials of North Port Police Station have been deployed in the area to prevent people from stepping into the river late at night or for a few hours in the morning, said sources, adding people in the area have also been alerted.

In 2017, at least 14 people had died in the Telinipara jetty collapse in Hooghly, caused by high tide. In 2014, four Class XII students drowned while taking a dip in the Hooghly after a game of football. All four were commerce students at Xavier’s English School in Konnagar.

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