12 Dead, 37 Missing After Boat Capsizes In Godavari River

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12 people were killed when a boat with 73 including crew members, capsized in the Godavari river near Devipatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Thirty seven are still missing while 24 have been rescued after the incident, East Godavari Superintendent of Police, Adnan Nayeem Asmi said. Rescued passengers have been shifted to a government hospital at Rampachodavaram.
Two NDRF teams, each with 30 members, were sent to the spot, according to relief and rehabilitation department authorities.

Most people on board the Royal Vashishta were tourists travelling to Papikondalu, a famous tourist spot near Rajahmundry.
Navy helicopters are conducting rescue operations. The Godavari river has been in spate due to fresh floods for the last one week.

Fourteen passengers from Kadipikonda village of Telangana’s Warangal district were travelling in the boat. One of the rescued passengers told a local television channel that the boat suddenly tilted in the river and overturned. Some passengers tried to climb on top of the boat to save themselves, while others fell into the water.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is reviewing the situation. He has directed local ministers and MLAs to supervise rescue operations. Two boats of the AP Tourism Department have been sent to the spot.

The chief minister has ordered cancellation of licences of all boats being operated in the Godavari river. He has asked officials to conduct a thorough inspection of all the boats which ply in the river.
Tourism Minister Muthamsetty Srinivasa Rao said the capsized boat didn’t have a licence of the Tourism Department, but had permission from Kakinada Port authorities.

State home minister M Sucharita said action would be taken against the officials who had given permission for the boat. Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced Rs 10 lakh as ex gratia for the kin of the victims.

Telugu Desam Party president and former AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan have expressed shock over the boat tragedy. The leaders have asked their party workers to take part in rescue operations.

Ramana of Punnami Travels, the owner of the boat, told reporters that the boat had a capacity of 90 passengers, but had left for the tourist spot with 61 passengers. He said, the spot where the accident occurred, is a dangerous one with whirlpools and boats have to be steered cautiously.
S Nukaraju and Tamaraju, who were steering the boat, are both believed to have been killed.



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