Rescue operations conclude for Thatta’s tragedy; death toll reaches 19

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KARACHI:  A rescue operation for those missing in Thursday’s boat capsize tragedy near Thatta concluded on Friday bringing the death toll to 19.

The rescue operation for those missing in Thursday’s boat capsize tragedy near Thatta had resumed on Friday morning, with divers from the Pakistan Navy also taking part in the operation.

According to the last reports, 17 people had been killed and 47 injured as a boat carrying more than 80 pilgrims capsized as a result of heavy winds near the ancient city of Thatta on Thursday.

Officials claimed that the dead included women and children, while 20 others were pulled from the sea alive.

Meanwhile, police said they have arrested two people, including the owner of the boat.

Around 80 pilgrims were on their way to a shrine ‘mela’ (fair) when their boat capsized in the open sea, Thatta Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Haseeb Afzal said, adding that the boat was overloaded with passengers.

SSP Afzal said the incident took place near the shore and 52 passengers were successfully off-boarded by rescue sources.

Pakistan Navy teams left for the site of the incident for a rescue operation on Thursday evening, a Navy spokesperson said earlier, adding that rescue boats were also dispatched.

Divers, medical personnel, and rescue staff are part of the Pakistan Navy’s rescue team.