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8 dead, several missing as flash floods hit Hindu festival in India
Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to the Hindu goddess Durga and is also celebrated because of Durga's victory over Mahishasur - Photo. Pixabay

As many as eight persons, including four women, have died of drowning and several persons are missing because of flash floods during a Hindu religious ceremony in the Indian state of West Bengal, a senior official said on Thursday (October 6).

Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara told the media that the flash floods struck all of a sudden, and people were swept away.

Eight bodies have been recovered so far and around 50 people have been rescued while search for more is continuing.

Moumita Godara told Anadolu Agency that flash floods hit a large gathering around the Mal River during the immersion of idols for the Hindu festival 'Durga Puja' in West Bengal on Wednesday night (October 5).

Shiva god, a Hindu statue in India - Pixabay

There is no information about the missing people so far, she said, adding search operations are going on. The injured were taken to the hospital for treatment.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "anguished by the mishap" in West Bengal. "Condolences to those who lost their loved ones," he said.

Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to the Hindu goddess Durga and is also celebrated because of Durga's victory over Mahishasur.

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