23 missing as boat capsizes in Godavari river

Officials deployed police and a team from the National Disasters Relief Force to the scene

Officials deployed police and a team from the National Disasters Relief Force to the scene

The tragedy took place between 4.30 PM to 5 PM near Manturu of Devipatnam Mandal in East Godavari district. However, at least 23 people continue to be missing even as the rescue and relief operations are underway.

A team of divers, along with Dornier aircraft, have been sent to Rajahmundry to join rescue operations.

Locals claim that almost 50 people were on board and 10 swam to safety. Earlier reports had said that at least 10 people swam to safety.

East Godavari District Collector Kartikeya Misra said that the passengers asked the boat driver and the owner of the boat, who was also onboard, to take it ashore when it started raining. When the incident happened, there were about 50 passengers (including tribals and a marriage party) on board and some of them successfully reached the banks by swimming.

The boat apparently belongs to Laxmi Venkateshwara boat services and the owner Khaja Mohinuddeen has surrendered at the Devipatnam police station following the incident, ETV reported.

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"As per the information we gathered from the witnesses, more than 30 persons are still missing", he told TV channels.

Speaking to the press, CBN said, "the Boat (launch) has been thoroughly checked in the morning on the day of the incident".

Prime Minister Modi condoled loss of lives due to collapse of under-construction flyover in Varanasi.

Chief minister, N Chandrababu Naidu also visited to oversee rescue operations. Condolences to the bereaved families.

Apparently due to the heavy wind and storm, they have locked the boat doors, which in turn became a curse for the passengers. "I pray for the safety of those missing", he tweeted.

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