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Ferry Tips In India; At Least 20 Drown

Mon., Sept. 22, 1997

A river ferry capsized Sunday in eastern India, drowning at least 20 people, an official said.

The ferry was carrying more than 50 people when it capsized in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. It was taking people across the Ganges River near the capital, Patna, about 650 miles east of New Delhi, said Gorelal Yadav, the local administer of Hajipur, a suburb of Patna.

Earlier reports said that 90 people were missing after the ferry was caught by a strong current and dashed into a temporary bridge spanning the river.

One body was recovered and more than 30 people swam to shore, Yadav said. Rescuers were searching for survivors.

Such disasters are common in Bihar where old and poorly maintained boats routinely are used as ferries. In July, 76 people died in two similar accidents.

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