12 drown as boat with Hindu worshippers capsizes in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 12 Hindu worshippers drowned when their boat capsized early Friday during a religious celebration on a lake in central India, rescuers said.

Six people swam ashore from the lake in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state, and a search was on for one missing person, said state-run National Disaster Response Force spokesman Krishan Kumar. Kumar said 12 bodies were recovered from the lake.

The boat tilted and capsized while the worshippers were immersing a big idol of the Hindu god Ganesh into the lake, police said.

Hindus are celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. Ganesh is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Boats in India are often overloaded, which leads to frequent accidents. Most boats operate in rural areas without life jackets.

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