NEW DELHI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- At least 18 people are now confirmed dead while 100 others are still missing in a boat tragedy in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal Saturday, a senior police official said on Sunday.
"Some 160 people are on the boat which capsized in the Muriganga river near Sagar Islands in the state's South 24 Parganas district yesterday. The trawler was sailing from the Hijli Sharif shrine in East Midnapore district to Kakdwip when it capsized," the official said.
Apart from local police and coast guard, the Indian Navy has been called in to help in the rescue operations in the Muriganga river.
"The rescue team scoured the four to five km area in the strong currents of the Muriganga with hovercraft backed by aerial surveillance," he added.
Meanwhile, state's Sundarbans Affairs Minister Kanti Ganguly told the media in state capital Kolkata that four fish finding machines to locate the exact spot of the capsizal were requisitioned from the naval headquarters in Vishakapatnam for the rescue operation.