The boat carrying more than 60 people was ferrying passengers to a popular Sufi Muslim shrine on an island off the coast of Sindh Province when it overturned amid heavy winds near the ancient city of Thatta, police officials said.
The area commissioner, on the other hand, said that two boats had collided in a creek 30 kilometres away from Boharo village, whereas the General Hyderabad Deputy Inspector Jawed Alam Odho said one boat had capsized. He added that the boat was carrying passengers travelling to the shrine of Pir Pathai to celebrate a festival.
At least 50 people belonging to the Dawoodi Bohra Community drowned.
The 17 killed included women and children, and more than 50 others were pulled from the sea alive, the officials said.
He added that ambulances from Thatta and Sujawal districts had been mobilised to participate in the rescue efforts.
There are conflicting reports on how the accident happened, how many boats were involved, and where it took place.
At least 21 bodies have been recovered, according to officials at the Mirpur Sakro Taluqa Hospital.
The Thatta DC said 15-20 people were rescued and admitted to the hospital in an unconscious state.
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