Home / News / India /  8 dead, 25 missing as tourist boat capsizes in AP’s Godavari river

Hyderabad: Eight dead bodies were retrieved by personnel of the National and State (Andhra Pradesh) Disaster Response Force teams after a boat carrying about 60 people capsized in the Godavari river at Devipatnam Mandal (East Godavadi district) on Sunday. The rescue teams managed to save about 27 persons, while another 25 or so were still missing even till late Sunday evening.

Immediately after the incident was reported, six teams were pressed into the rescue operation, while six State Disaster Response Force (SDRF)and National Disaster Response Force (NDR) have also been deployed to engage in the search and operation work. According to a statement from the AP government, a specialized team of deep divers with ‘side scan sonar’ equipment from Uttarakhand will be brought to Vijayawada to assist the rescue operations, and to retrieve the dead bodies from the river.

Of the 27 people who were rescued, 16 were given first aid treatment at the Area hospital, Rampachodavaram, while others were shifted to a hospital at Rajahmundry for further treatment and trauma counselling. The other 8 dead bodies that were retrieved have been sent for postmortem.

According to an official who did not want to be named, the boat, Royal Vashishta, had a little over 60 people on board, besides nine crew members including two drivers - S Nukaraju and Tamaraju. Thirty six passengers were from Telangana, including 22 from Hyderabad and 14 from Warangal. After the incident, Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced an ex-gratia of Rs.5 lakh for the families of the deceased.

According to local media reports, the incident took place at about 1.25 pm. Two boats of the AP Tourism Department have also been sent to the spot, while a Navy helicopter was also pressed into service to carry the NDRF teams and also to find the exact location of the boat. However, the operations were marred due to full flow of the river, which has been in spate due to fresh floods for the last one week.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is also reviewing the situation, directed local ministers and MLAs to supervise rescue operations. The AP government also announced an ex-gratia of 10.lakh for the kin of the victims. He also ordered the cancellation of licences of all boats being operated in the river and has asked officials to conduct a thorough inspection of all the boats which will ply henceforth in river waters.

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