16 dead after boat capsizes in Andhra

11 bodies recovered after boat capsizes in Andhra Pradesh

Thirty-two of the victims belonging to Ongole town were on a picnic tour.

Deputy Chief Minister N Chinarajappa told reporters that so far 16 bodies have been fished out and search was on by NDRF personnel for missing people.

"According to preliminary investigation, the private agency which was operating the boat did not have a license from the tourism department", he added.

The state government on Sunday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the bereaved.




"As the boat took a turn near the Ferry Ghat, the tourists came to one side to witness the evening "aarti" to the "Sangamam", immediately the boat turned turtle". As many as 20 passengers wearing life jackets were brought ashore with the help of trained swimmers and local fishermen.

Earlier this year, 13 people died in a similar incident in the state's Anantapur district. Some of the survivors complained that the police that the boat was shaking right from moment it started from Bhavani Island. Local media reports suggested the boat was overloaded with passengers and the buoyancy of water changed leading to the disaster.

The boat exceeded its maximum carrying capacity of 24.

Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the incident and directed the authorities to intensify rescue operations.

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