Boat with 61 onboard passengers capsizes in Godavari river, 11 dead, 25 missing
There were 61 people on board the boat and 23 of them have been rescued by NDRF team.
At least five people killed and more than 20 missing after a boat carrying 61 people capsized in the Godavari river in East Godavari district on Sunday afternoon. According to reports, the boat overturned in the river when tried making the narrow turn. As of now, 24 people have been rescued with the help of NDRF teams and local people.
Notably, the Andhra Pradesh government had suspended the boat services to Pappi Hills after it recorded heavy inflow of water in the river. However, the services were resumed a few days back as the water level began receding.
According to news agency PTI, the boat ferrying 61 passengers was operated by the state tourism boards. The boat was on its way to a picturesque location Papikondalu mountain range, which is considered to a prime destination in Andhra Pradesh, from Gandi Pochamma Temple near Devipatnam.
#UPDATE Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA): 11 people have lost their lives in the incident where a tourist boat carrying 61 people capsized in Godavari river in Devipatnam, East Godavari district, today. pic.twitter.com/pCukgoenfu
— ANI (@ANI) September 15, 2019
According to the New Indian Express, the boat had a capacity of 50 passengers and the boat authorities claim that 150 life jackets were made available to the passengers. While some of the tourists managed to cross the river by swimming and 24 people have been safely rescued by the NDRF team. Few passengers who were seen drifting were also saved by the local villagers.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered the immediate suspension of licenses of all boats operating in the Godavari River. As per the report, Two boats of the state tourism department, a chopper along with ministers and MLAs have been directed for the rescue operations.
Boat tragedies have become a regular affair in the Godavari River as many of the boat services are being operated without licenses. A similar boat tragedy took place in 2018, wherein 20 passengers had to lose their lives the then opposition leader Jagan Mohan Reddy had called it Sarkari Hatyalu and demanded an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh for each victim.