Rescuers look for survivors in Harni lake where a boat carrying children and teachers who were on a picnic capsized in Vadodara, India, January 18, 2024. Image Credit: Reuters

Ahmedabad: At least 16 people including 14 children drowned when a boat capsized on Thursday in western India, officials said.

Dozens of people joined a frantic search for survivors around the lake near the city of Vadodara where the boat capsized.

The incident happened in Gujarat state as students were travelling to a picnic organised by their school.

Other officials at the hospital, who did not give their names, said that the victims included children aged as young as 10 along with two of their teachers.

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"The total death toll is 16," hospital superintendent Ranjan Aiyer told reporters.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear but a Vadodara district official told AFP that 27 people were believed to be aboard.

"My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief," Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"May the injured recover soon. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected."

Fatal boat accidents are common on Indian waterways.

Last year, at least 22 people were killed when their double-decker tourist boat capsized in the southern state of Kerala.

Survivors of that accident told local media that many of the passengers were not wearing life jackets.