New Delhi: 12 people died and several others went missing when a tourist boat, with about 60 people on board, capsized in the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district on Sunday. 23 people have been rescued thus far.
Of those on board, 11 were crew members. The incident comes just two days after 11 people lost their lives as their boat capsized during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Bhopal.
According to reports, the boat, which is run by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), left Gandi Pochamma Temple near Devipatnam for Papikondalu, a prime tourist destination and capsized near Kachhuluru.
Over the past few days, the river had been overflowing due to sudden floods. On Sunday, when the mishap occurred, it had over 5.13 lakh cusecs of floodwater in it.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed all available ministers in the affected district to supervise rescue operations. The state government has also stopped plying of all passenger and tourist boats with immediate effect. It has further ordered checking of permits, licences, safety measures of all the boats.
Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia has been announced for the families of those killed in the tragedy.
Chief Secretary LV Subrahmanyam, meanwhile, has directed East Godavari District Collector Muralidhar Reddy to deploy a helicopter to trace those missing after the mishap.
Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), comprising 30 members each, too, have been sent for rescue operations.