GUWAHATI, India, April 30 (UPI Asia) – More than 100 people are feared dead after a ferry with about 300 people sank Monday in the Brahmaputra River, 290 kilometers west of Guwahati.
Deputy Commissioner Kumud Chandra Kalita said the bodies of 100 men, women and children had been recovered.
About 100 people swam to safety, police officer Pradip Saloi said from Dhubri district when a cyclonic storm struck the boat around 4:20 pm. Dhubri is on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra bordering Bangladesh.
"It is difficult to say how many were on board since the boat did not sell tickets," an official said. "We fear many bodies might be washed away."
Authorities blamed bad weather for delays in the rescue operation, adding that the army and paramilitary Border Security Force as well as the police had pressed mechanized boats into service.
One of the survivors said the storm was so heavy it broke the double-decker ferry.
In a separate accident Monday 12 people went missing after their boat sank on the same river. On April 24, four women drowned when their overloaded boat sank not very far from the site of Monday's tragedy.