At least 15 people have drowned after a boat overcrowded with holiday revellers capsized on a river in India's eastern Odisha state, reports say.

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Police, firefighters and emergency workers rescued dozens of people from the water, after the boat sank on Sunday in Odisha's Sambalpur district, about 1,300km (800 miles) southeast of New Delhi, state government official Pradeep Kumar Mahapatra said.

Rescuers used flashlights to search overnight for six or seven people feared trapped in the hull, Mahapatra said.

Odisha Sun Times, a local news website, said 16 people were still missing.

Survivors said the boat had been carrying more than 90 people back from a picnic on the opposite banks of the Hirakud reservoir.

Authorities were investigating the accident.

Source: AP