5 dead, 33 missed in Godavari’s boat capsize

Five people were killed when a boat with 61 including crew members, capsized in the Godavari river near Devipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, today afternoon. 33 are still missing while 24 have been rescued after the incident, East Godavari Superintendent of Police, Adnan Nayeem Asmi said.

Two NDRF teams, each with 30 members, were sent to the spot, according to relief and rehabilitation department authorities. Most people on board the Royal Vashishta were tourists travelling to Papikondalu, a famous tourist spot near Rajahmundry.

A chopper has been pressed into service to locate the boat. The Godavari river has been in spate due to fresh floods for the last one week.Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is reviewing the situation. He has directed local ministers and MLAs to supervise rescue operations. Two boats of the AP Tourism Department have been sent to the spot.

The chief minister has ordered cancellation of licences of all boats being operated in the Godavari river. He has asked officials to conduct a thorough inspection of all the boats which ply in the river.

Tourism Minister Muthamsetty Srinivasa Rao said the capsized boat didn’t have a licence of the Tourism Department, but had permission from Kakinada Port authorities.


State home minister M Sucharita said action would be taken against the officials who had given permission for the boat. TDP chief and former AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan have expressed shock over the boat tragedy. The leaders have asked their party workers to take part in rescue operations.

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