Amaravati: The toll in the boat tragedy in Andhra Pradesh rose to 12 with the recovery of four more bodies including that of an infant, on Monday morning, official sources said. With 21 more people missing, extensive search operations were being carried out by Indian Navy, NDRF, SDRF and State authorities.
While bodies of eight passengers were recovered from the river till Sunday night, another four were retrieved at the accident spot at Kachhuluru in East Godavari district today morning, sources in the State Disaster Management Authority here said.
One helicopter of the Indian Navy and another of the ONGC have been pressed into service while eight boats were being used by NDRF and SDRF personnel to search for the people feared drowned.
Crest gates of the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowaleswaram have been shut to prevent the possibility of the bodies from getting washed away downstream.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy undertook an aerial survey of the accident spot. The boat ‘Royal Vasishta‘ was on its way to the picturesque Papikondalu tourist spot in the middle of the river when it met with the accident, apparently on colliding with a large rock formation, at Kachchuluru, about 200 km from here.
As many as 27 people survived the tragedy and were rescued by villagers of Tutugunta. The survivors were taken to the area hospital in Rampachodavaram and government general hospital in Rajamahendravaram for treatment.
Most of the tourists were from Hyderabad and Warangal in neighbouring Telangana and state chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the bereaved families from his state and deputed ministers to coordinate in the relief works and help the injured.