At least 14 people drowned in three different incidents of boat capsize in the flood-hit districts of Bihar, officials said on Wednesday.
While nine deaths were reported from Khagaria district, Saharsa and Darbhanga accounted for three and two fatalities, respectively.
Khagaria's district magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh said all the deceased were among the more than 20 people riding a boat that capsized in the Gandak river, in the Mansi police station area, late on Tuesday.
While 12 people swam to safety, the exact number of those who have gone missing was not known, he said, adding that the SDRF was continuing with its search operation. The nine deceased include five females and four males. The youngest among them is a 10-year-old boy and a girl aged 12.
In Darbhanga, the mishap took place in Hayaghat police station area, Station House Officer Amarendra Kumar said.
He said a boat carrying 13 people overturned in the Kareh river on Tuesday night. While 10 people swam to safety, bodies of two women, aged 40-45 years, were recovered by the NDRF after several hours of search operation.
A 16-year-old boy was still untraceable, he added. In Saharsa, a boat carrying 13 people capsized in the Kosi river in the Silkhua police station area.
According to the Sub-Divisional Officer of Simri, Birendra Kumar, eight people swam to safety while three bodies have been recovered. The deceased include a five-year-old boy and his father, besides a 15-year-old girl.
The boys mother, aged 25, besides another person, were yet to be traced.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar issued a statement expressing grief over the deaths and ordered expeditious payment of ex-gratia to all bereaved families.