Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

14 killed, 9 missing in Andhra boat tragedy

14 killed, 9 missing in Andhra boat tragedy

The boat's carrying capacity is 24 people.

At least 13 people drowned and others were missing after a crowded ferry capsized Sunday in the Krishna River in India, a government official said. The boat with around 38 persons was heading to the Pavitra Sangamam Ferry ghat near Ibrahimpatnam.

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China Rajappa, who was supervising rescue operations at the accident spot, announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. 32 of the victims belong to Ongole town. "Many of the tourists got trapped under the overturned boat and died of suffocation", said one of them. Swimmers and local fishermen rescued 15 passengers as the boat capsized. As many as 20 passengers, who were wearing life jackets, managed to swim to the shore safely. Local media reports suggested the boat was overloaded with passengers and the buoyancy of water changed leading to the disaster.

Ferry staff stated that it was the first time that the boat belonging to a two-month old company called "River Boating" was coming to the area from Bhavani Island and the driver did not know about the silt existing in that part of the river. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed the authorities to intensify rescue operations by taking the help of NDRF personnel.

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Tourism Minister Akhila Priya ordered probe into the incident.

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