A double-decker boat carrying more than 30 passengers capsized off a beach in southern India Sunday night, killing more than 22 people, including children, authorities said.
The police officer Abdul Nazar said that the rescue teams they hoped to recover more bodies from inside the boat after pulling it ashore from the murky waters. He said the Indian National Disaster Response Force and Indian Coast Guard personnel were involved in the rescue work and trying to find those who were still missing.
“According to the preliminary information we have, 22 people died in the incident, five people swam ashore, and ten people were admitted to hospital”, District chief VR Premkumar told the local agency ANI this morning from the scene of the incident.
“Rescue operations are still underway,” he added.
the tourist boat Capsized near Poorappuzha River estuary in Tanura coastal city in the Malappuram district of the state of Kerala, and the most of the passengers were tourists. Nazar said authorities were investigating the cause of the accident and apparently the boat capsized due to overcrowding.
Among the dead were children who had gone for a boat ride during their school holidays, Sports Minister V. Abdurahiman told the Press Trust of India news agency.
State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is to visit the area on Monday, tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims and urged the district authorities to supervise the rescue.
Monday has been declared a day of official mourning, reported the PTI, citing a government statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “saddened by the loss of life” and announced compensation to the families of the victims in a tweet. He also announced an indemnity of 200,000 rupees ($2,447) to the relatives of the victims.
Boating accidents are common in India, where many boats are overcrowded and have inadequate safety equipment.
In September 2020, 12 people drowned when a tourist boat capsized in the swollen Godavari River in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. In May 2018, 30 people died when a boat capsized in the same region.
India suffered a major maritime accident in May 2021, when at least 145 people died while aboard two boats plying the west Indian coast during Cyclone Tauktae.
(with information from AP and EFE)
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