At least 40 feared drowned as boat capsizes in Godavari river

The passengers include a 20-member marriage party, the survivors told locals who launched the initial rescue operations.

HYDERABAD: At least 40 people, mostly tribals, are feared drowned in Godavari river when a boat capsized during inclement weather in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district Tuesday evening.

According to initial reports, the boat with around 50 passengers was going from Kondamodalu tribal hamlet on the banks of the river to Rajahmundry, when it overturned in after being buffeted by heavy gales near Mantoor village of Devipatnam block at around 5 pm.

While 10 passengers, including two women, swam to the riverbank, the remaining passengers are feared drowned and their whereabouts were not known till last reports came in. The passengers include a 20-member marriage party, the survivors told locals who launched the initial rescue operations.

While local tribals immediately swung into action to rescue the passengers, the district authorities also reached the accident site along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to launch rescue operations. Superintendents of police of East and West Godavari districts also left for the spot immediately.

Soon after coming to know about the boat mishap, boat owner Mohammad Khaja of Lakshmi Venkateshwara Boat Service surrendered, police in Devipatnam said.

Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu ordered authorities concerned to immediately start rescue operations. He also asked them to extend all possible assistance to the survivors. Rampachodavaram MLA Vantala Rajeshwari also went to the mishap site to oversee the rescue works.

Last Friday, at least 90 tourists had a miraculous escape when a private boat caught fire in the middle of Godavari river at Veerapulanka in East Godavari when they were going to Papikondalu, a famous tourist spot.

 

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