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India to crack down on excessive load of ferries, buses after tragedy

(Xinhua)

13:46, May 03, 2012

NEW DELHI, May 3 (Xinhua) -- After a ferry tragedy in the northeast Indian state of Assam on Monday, the state's Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has ordered police to crack down on excessive load of ferries and buses, reported local daily The Hindu Thursday.

Survivors of Monday's tragedy at Medartari in lower Dhubri, western Assam, alleged that the ferry carried an excess load of passengers and goods, according to the newspaper.

The disaster management authorities, quoting a district administration report, said that till 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 21 bodies were recovered and 42 people were missing as per First Information Report lodged by the families of those missing. In all, 70 persons were rescued, according to the newspaper.

While these official figures accounted for 133 persons on the ferry, the survivors claimed that there were about 400 persons on board.

The ferry capsized and sank after meeting a cyclonic storm Monday on the Brahmaputra River.

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