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Andhra Pradesh: 12 dead after boat carrying 60 capsizes in Godavari river

The river has been in spate for the past few days and over 5.13 lakh cusecs of floodwater was flowing on Sunday afternoon when the mishap occurred.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 16, 2019 7:33:51 am
Andhra boat accident: Several persons reported missing after a tourist boat capsized in Godavari River in East Godavari district. (ANI Photo)

Twelve persons have died and around 30 were reported missing after a tourist boat carrying nearly 60 passengers capsized in Godavari River in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, PTI reported. About 17 of them have been rescued by the locals while search is on for others, PTI quoted police as saying.

The tourist boat, named “Royal Vasishta”, was ferrying people from the Gandipochamma temple on the banks of the river to the scenic Papikondalu hills when the mishap occurred. Police said two teams of National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force, with a total of 140 personnel, have been pressed for rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely pained by the incident. “Extremely pained by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Rescue operations are currently underway at the site of the tragedy,” PM Modi tweeted.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia each to the families of the deceased and directed the East Godavari district collector Muralidhar Reddy to conduct a probe into the tragedy. All boat operations have been suspended forthwith, PTI reported.

The river has been in spate for the past few days and over 5.13 lakh cusecs of floodwater was flowing on Sunday afternoon when the mishap occurred.

Most of the tourists in the boat were from Hyderabad and Warangal in neighbouring Telangana. Five of the tourists from Warangal were among the 17 passengers saved by villagers of Tutugunta, police said.

According to Tourism Minister M Srinivasa Rao, at least 50-60 passengers were on board the boat operated by Punnami Tourism, a private agency based at Rajahmundry.

“We are trying to find out how this private boat operated today especially as floodwaters haven’t receeded in the Godavari. Government boats operated by AP Tourism have all been stopped since several days due to the flood. Why this private boat was allowed to operate today we have to investigate. We have deputed NDRF teams and sent several boats with swimmers to help in rescue operations,” Rao said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the loss of lives in the boat capsize incident. “The loss of lives due to capsizing of a boat in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh is very unfortunate. I am deeply pained. My thoughts are with families of those who have lost their loved ones. May God give the bereaved families strength to withstand this tragic loss,” Shah said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed his condolences. “I’m sorry to hear about the boat accident in the Godavari river, in Andhra Pradesh. My deepest condolences to the families of those who have perished in this tragedy. I pray that all those reported missing will soon be accounted for and that they are safe,” Gandi tweeted.

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(With ENS inputs)

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