A Maharashtra government official drowned when a boat carrying at least 40 media personnel and officials, including Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, capsized near the site of the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial, about 2.6 km off Mumbai’s coast on Wednesday, Hindustan Times reported.
The passengers were on their way to perform a puja at the memorial. The ritual had to be cancelled following the incident.
The boat overturned around 4.15 pm, Mid Day reported. The Indian Coast Guard, marine police and other agencies launched a massive rescue operation along with two helicopters. “Coast Guard hovercraft reached the spot,” the Indian Coast Guard said in a statement, according to NDTV. “Our choppers were also involved in the rescue.”
Earlier the state disaster management unit, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that one official, identified as Siddhesh Pawar, was missing. His body was later found and taken to the GT hospital.
Fadnavis announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased. He also ordered an investigation into the accident. “Due to the timely help and assistance provided by the Indian navy and the Coast guard, a big accident was averted,” Fadnavis said, according to PTI. “The state government will conduct an inquiry into the incident.”