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Krishna river boat tragedy: At least 16 dead after tourist boat capsizes near Vijayawada

Krishna river boat tragedy: Officials said that with fading light, the boat driver misjudged the depth of water a metres away from the jetty and took a wrong turn and hit sand bars which possibly resulted in the mishap.

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad |
Updated: November 13, 2017 9:17:58 am
vijaywada boat capsize, Krishna river boat capsize, Andhra Pradesh boat capsize, andhra news, india news, latest news Krishna river boat tragedy: Officials said that with fading light, the boat driver misjudged the depth of water a metres away from the jetty and took a wrong turn and hit sand bars which possibly resulted in the mishap.(ANI Photo)

At least 17 people died after a boat full of members from Ongole Walkers Club capsized in Krishna River at Ibrahimpatnam near Vijayawada on Sunday evening. Andhra Pradesh Home Minister N Chinnarajappa said that the tourist boat capsized just a few minutes before it was to reach the jetty at Vijayawada and in full view of people watching from the riverside.

“We don’t know yet how many people were on the boat, but those who were rescued said there were 38 people. Some eight families of members of Ongole Walking Club had hired the boat. 11 bodies have been recovered and 20 persons have been rescued. The tourists were travelling from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangham near Vijayawada when the mishap occurred. None of the tourists were wearing life jackets which is in total violation of the safety guidelines issued to all the boat owners operating here,’’ he said.

Officials said that all of the tourists were members of Ongole Walkers Club had hired the private boat operated by Simple Water Tours for excursion on the river Krishna. The group had come for a picnic to Vijayawada today morning from Ongole, 150 kms away. After visiting various temples and other sightseeing they went to Ibrahimpatnam to catch a boat for river cruise at 4 pm.

“It seems the AP Tourism kiosk there told them that they had missed the last boat so they decided to hire a private boat. The survivors told us that even though they asked for life jackets, the crew told them there was nothing to worry and did not give them,’’ Home Minister Chinnarajappa said. Miraculously, while some people including women who did not know how to swim, just waded to the shore through the shallow waters, others drowned with the boat.

Officials said that with fading light, the boat driver misjudged the depth of water a metres away from the jetty and took a wrong turn and hit sand bars which possibly resulted in the mishap.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief at the incident. “Capsizing of a boat in the Krishna River is anguishing. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Andhra Pradesh Government and NDRF have been working on rescue operations,” Modi tweeted.

NDRF deputy commandant Santosh Kumar said rescue operations had been continuing since Sunday night and four teams were deployed. Divers are also making efforts to trace missing people, he said.

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