At least 10 people including nine children died when an overcrowded boat was shipwrecked on a northern Indian river in the state of Bihar, a senior police officer told EFE Friday.

The accident occurred late Thursday on a tributary of the Kosi River in the Madhepura district, where the boat apparently heeled over among river algae and capsized, police district superintendent Saurav Shah said.

He did not specify the total number of passengers on the boat and said the victims, who were returning from a nearby village where they had attended a ceremony, drowned just 22 meters (72 feet) from the riverbank.

The water level of the Kosi River and its tributaries have crested significantly over the past three days, according to emergency management officials cited by the Indian news agency IANS.

Northern India is currently in its monsoon season, a time of torrential rains. EFE