At least 10 passengers are feared drowned after a boat ferrying people capsized in Godavari river in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. According to media reports, while 20 people managed to swim ashore, several others are still missing. The incident took place on Tuesday late evening near Manturu of Devipatnam mandal when people belonging to tribal communities were returning from a weekly market at Polavaram village. Local media reports suggest that the boat was carrying at least 40 people. It was en route to Vadapalli from Devipatnam when the tragedy happened.
The Indian Express reported that the private boat was caught in strong currents and overturned in the river. East Godavari District Collector Kartikeya Mishra confirmed that while 20 people managed to save themselves by swimming to shore.
1. As soon as the administration was informed about the tragedy, they launched rescue operations. Drivers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), teams from Andhra Pradesh Fire and Emergency Services, irrigation and revenue departments were pressed into operations to save people.
2. According to The Indian Express, passengers in the boat were mostly from the Kondareddi community. They had taken the boat at Manchur hamlet near Polavaram to Varapalli after attending a weekly market. Around 4 pm, the boat overturned when it was caught in strong currents.
3. Additional SP Ajitha Vejendla told The Indian Express that the administration officials are talking to the survivors to ascertain what had happened. According to him, the river is very shallow now, so if the boat had a problem, it could have reached the bank within five minutes.
4. Police said that the incident occurred when the medium-sized boat was ferrying people from one hamlet to other along the river. “It is like water autorickshaw that carries passengers and goods at nominal rates,” a police officer from R Chodavaram Police Station said.
5. The private boat belongs to Lakshmi Narasimha Travels. But it was not a part of the tourist boats that take tourists to Papi Hills, the daily reported. It said that the boat had not applied for licence renewal and inspection after its permit expired on April 30.
6. Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has ordered the authorities to extend all possible help to the survivors and locate the others who are missing. Rampachodavaram MLA Vantala Rajeshwari also went to the incident site to oversee the rescue works.
7. In Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the loss of lives in the mishap. In a tweet, he prayed for the safe return of those missing. “Anguished by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the safety of those missing,” his tweet reads.
Anguished by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the safety of those missing.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 15, 2018
8. Last Friday, a boat carrying over 100 tourists had escaped a tragedy when a private boat caught fire in the middle of the Godavari river when it was en route to Papikondalu.