Tragic Sunday: 13 people dead as Boat capsizes in Godavari River

At least 13 people died after a tourist boat carrying 61 passengers capsized in the Godavari river in Devipatnam, Andhra Pradesh on Sunday afternoon. The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) has confirmed that 13 people have been killed in the mishap. The accident took place near Kacchuluru village in Devipatnam Mandal of the East Godavari district.
There were 61 people on the boat among which 50 were tourists and 11 were boat staff. They had gone on a tour to see Papikondalu hills near the Godavari river. Around 40 people are still missing. Two teams of NDRF have been mobilised, one from Vishakhapatnam and one from Guntur. Teams are en route to where the incident took place.
Reportedly, almost all of those in the boat had access to life jackets. Some of them reportedly swam to the bank. Local police and officials are present at the spot. Godavari river had been receiving flood water of almost 5 lakh cusecs till Saturday. So tourist services were halted. With floodwater receding, the officials gave permission to the tourist boats on Sunday.
Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy spoke with the officials within minutes after the news of capsizing of the boat broke. He ordered them to take up rescue operations immediately. The chief minister also announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh. Ministers and officials have been instructed to support the affected families.
Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams each consisting of 30 members each have been sent for rescue operations. Two boats of the tourism department are also part of the rescue operations.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy also asked officials to use the Navy and ONGC helicopters in relief operations. He expressed serious concern over the boat accidents and has sought a report.
The chief minister has ordered the authorities to immediately suspend all boat services and asked to check licenses, fitness and other details of boat operations in river Godavari.
Expressing sadness over the incident, PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely pained by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Rescue operations are currently underway at the site of the tragedy.”

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