The death toll from a boat that capsized while carrying a wedding party near Punjab’s Sadiqabad earlier this week is presumed to have surpassed 50 after officials said on Wednesday there was no hope of finding more survivors.
The overcrowded vessel was carrying around 100 passengers when it capsized on Monday on the storm-swollen Indus River.
Twenty-six bodies – mostly of women and children – have been recovered so far, but a similar number of people are missing and presumed dead, officials said.
All those on board belonged to the Solangi caste, and they were on their way from Mochka to a family wedding across the river in Sardarpur in Union Council Kahror Wali in Rojhan tehsil, local officials said.
“It’s been more than 48 hours since the incident so there’s no chance of finding survivors,” Kashif Nisar Gill, a spokesman for the district administration told a foreign media agency. Most of the survivors were men who managed to swim ashore, said Gill. Nearly 35 divers from a state-run rescue service took part in an operation to find and save more people who were in the river, an official statement earlier said. Local divers from the areas close by also joined the rescue operation, according to witnesses.
Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, while taking notice of the incident, expressed regret and condoled with the bereaved families. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also sent his condolences to the bereaved families.