At least three persons died and many went missing after a portion of a bamboo jetty in Hooghly district's Bhadreswar area, 50 km from here, gave way under the impact of high tide. "More than 50 people were present on the jetty when it got submerged".
Superintendent of Police Sukesh Jain said, "We will investigate how the jetty collapsed, the exact condition of the jetty and whether there was lack of maintenance".
NDRF Deputy Commandent (Kolkata) Abhay Kumar Singh said, "Various factors like tides and poor visibility are hampering the rescue operation".
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According to locals, some people survived by swimming towards the bank at their own, while others were helped by police and people that had gathered after the incident.
The four jetties near the incident spot have been kept closed for the time being, a source said. The local administration arrested four people, who were given out lease of the jetty. During the meeting, 16,000 small boats have also been identified, which are running illegally across the state. The jetty was crowded at around 11 am in the morning as people use ferry services in large numbers to cross the river and reach the other side in North 24 Pargana's Shyamnagar. The government is likely to upgrade them to semi-mechanised boats, they added.