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Multiple children and teachers reportedly have died in India on Thursday after a boat carrying around two dozen passengers – which was only meant to hold just 16 – capsized in a lake, officials say. 

The incident happened late afternoon at Harni Lake in Vadodara during a picnic event that was organized by a private school, according to The Indian Express. 

A local hospital told the newspaper that a boy and two girls, all 15 years old, had died after the boat capsized, as well as two 45-year-old teachers. 

“The children had arrived at the lake at 4:30 p.m. and accompanied by their teachers, they boarded the boat in the lake zone,” local government official Sheetal Mistry told The Indian Express. “The children were wearing life jackets but the reports indicate that 24 persons were made to sit in one boat which otherwise has a capacity to carry just 16 passengers.” 


Harni Lake in western India

Harni Lake in western India, where the boat is reported to have capsized on Thursday, Jan. 18. (Google Maps)

A rescue operation was launched following the sinking of the boat, with some locals managing to rescue children before first responders could reach the site, according to India TV.

The station reports that the boat was carrying as many as 27 people – 23 children and four teachers. 


“The incident of children drowning after the boat capsized in Vadodara’s Harni lake is extremely heartbreaking. I pray for the peace of the souls of the innocent children who lost their lives,” Bhupendra Patel, the chief minister of India’s Gujarat state, wrote on X. “We all feel and pray that more and more lives can be saved.”

Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.

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