Dead bodies used to block roads in protest over capsized boat on...

Dead bodies used to block roads in protest over capsized boat on Indian river

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Protesters have lashed out at officials for apparently not providing help fast enough after an overcrowded boat capsized in northern India.

Police said demonstrators used dead bodies to block roads following the tragedy on the Yamuna river early on Thursday morning.

At least 20 people died after the privately hired vessel upturned near Baghpat town in Uttar Pradesh state.

Most of the victims were women, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Demonstrations took place on the streets of Baghpat following the accident, with angry residents accusing authorities of not giving quick enough assistance.

A senior police officer told the AFP news agency: “They used dead bodies to block roads. Police are on the spot and a probe has been ordered.”

The boat was said to have been packed with labourers and headed for Haryana when the tragedy happened.

Around 60 people were on board, but the boat is understood to have had a capacity for only 35.

Ten people are believed to have swum to safety, and a search is now under way for around 31 passengers still missing.

Twenty bodies are reported to have been pulled out of the river.

The Uttar Pradesh government has announced compensation of 200,000 rupees (£2,350) for each victim’s family.

Boat accidents are common in India, mainly due to lax safety regulations, poorly built and maintained ferries, overcrowding and lack of life jackets.

Nineteen people died in January when a boat carrying revellers from a kite festival capsized on the Ganges river in eastern India.

(c) Sky News 2017: Dead bodies used to block roads in protest over capsized boat on Indian river