In a tragic accident, at least nine persons died on Thursday after a rescue boat in which they were sailing capsized near Brahmnal village in Maharashtra’s Sangli district.

Konkan Division Commissioner Deepak Mhaiskar said the boat was carrying around 30 villagers when the tragedy occurred.

According to the district administration, nine people are confirmed dead, two feared drowned while three others are missing.

A total of 16 people have been rescued so far.

Special Inspector General (Law & Order) of Maharashtra Police, Milind Bharambe said that it was a rescue boat of locals who were trying to shift people from flooded areas to safer places.

Search and rescue operations are on.

Maharashtra is now grappling with a severe flood situation, especially in its western districts.

Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and surrounding areas have received very heavy rains in the last week leading to a flood-like situation in many cities, towns and villages.

As the flood situation turned grim in Kolhapur and other neighbouring areas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called up Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday requesting him to discharge water from the Almatti Dam.

As per the latest status reports, the Panchganga River is flowing above danger levels, while electricity generation had to be stopped temporarily at the overflowing Radhanagari Dam.

Thousands of people in several villages in Shirol, Hatkanangale, Chikhali, Ambewadi have been severely hit besides the historic erstwhile royal city of Kolhapur, and normal life completely paralysed as incessant rains continued.

Five teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been airlifted from Punjab for rescue operations in Maharashtra.

The busy Pune-Bengaluru highway has been shut for all traffic as a precautionary measure in view of the torrential rains. Other state and district roads from where incidents of landslide and boulder crashes have been reported, have also been shut.

The India Meteorological Department has more rainfall over parts Konkan region and Madhya Maharashtra during the next two days, which is expected to reduce thereafter.