A dozen children are feared drowned after a ferry capsized while it was taking them to school across a river in India.

The packed ferry had been carrying 34 pupils over the waterway in Muzaffarpur, Bihar state, on 14th September when a rope snapped and it flipped over.

Indian media reports that 12 children are still missing, presumed dead.

Local police and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are involved in search and rescue efforts.

A video from the scene shows people gathered near both banks of the Bagmati River where the boat capsized.

Many are seen crying and visibly distressed.

Video shows after a boat carrying 34 school-going children capsizes in Muzaffarpur, India, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. It was reported that 12 kids went missing following the incident. (CEN)

Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, stated: “The Disaster Management team in Muzaffarpur is conducting an investigation into the incident.

“The government will provide assistance to the families affected by this accident.”

Ajay Kumar, the Disaster Management officer, provided a timeline saying: “The incident occurred between 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM on September 14th. Teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) immediately mobilized to the accident site.

“Search and rescue operations are currently underway to locate the missing children.”

The Bagmati River holds deep spiritual significance for both Hindus and Buddhists, with many temples along its banks.

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