RAHIM YAR KHAN/ SADIQABAD - At least 20 people including women and children died and more than 90 others were rescued after two boatss capsized in Indus River due to ‘overloading and high flow of water’ near Sadiqabad on Monday.

An official told reporters here that at least 90 people including the bridegroom were rescued and nearly two dozen people, including children, were still missing. He said according to their initial information, over 100 people were on board the boatss. According to the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122), the victims were travelling on a boats from riverine belt of Rojhan to Machka. Some 35 divers of Rescue 1122 with the help of locals were still searching for the missing people. The district administration officials reached the site of incident and shifted the bodies to a nearby hospital.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Governor Baleegh-ur-Rehman and Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz have expressed grief and sorrow over loss of 19 precious lives in boats capsize incident in Sadiqabad. In their condolences messages, they prayed for the departed souls and commiserated with bereaved families.

According to the Assistant Commissioner Sadiqabad, a wedding party by using a boats was crossing the Machka area to celebrate wedding ceremony when suddenly the boats capsized due to over loading.

As a result, a dozen people including women and children died on the spot. The rescue team started search operation to rescue other members of the wedding party.

According to police sources, the boats was coming from Rojhan to Machka when the incident took place. More than 90 people were rescued from the river while 19 bodies were retrieved by the rescue teams.

As per initial reports, more than 100 persons of a marriage party of Solangi clan were coming back from union council Khrore riverbed area of tehsil Rojhan district Rajanpur the other side of the Indus to union council Machka of tehsil Sadiqabad when it capsized due to overloading and high flow of water.