13 drown in village tank as boat capsizes in Andhra Pradesh

Anantapur: Thirteen members of a family died and two others are missing after their boat capsized in the Erratimma Raju lake in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district on Friday.

The victims, which include seven women and six children, were taking a joy ride when the accident took place.

Police have launched a search operation with the help of the villagers to trace the two missing family members.

According to reports, the small country boat was carrying 17 people and capsized due to overweight.

The locals had jumped into the tank to rescue the family, but they could manage to save only two children.

According to the police, the family had visited the village to take part in the installation ceremony of ‘Dwajasthambham’ (flag post) of a temple.

Soon after the programme ended, the family went to the lake for a joy ride. The country boat could not take the heavy load and overturned. After hearing their cries of help, some locals rushed to the tank and attempted to rescue them. But by then, they had already drowned.

Four bodies have been fished out while search is on for the two missing persons.

“The family had ventured into the lake on the country boat after asking the fishermen to stay behind on the tank bund. They did not know how to navigate the boat. Moreover, the boat was overloaded,” an official said.

Though there have been instances of boats overturning in canals, rivers and sea in the state, it is for the first time that so many people have drowned in a relatively smaller village tank, The Times of India reported.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed his cabinet colleague Paritala Sunita to rush to the accident spot and take stock of relief operations. Naidu also spoke with the district collector and superintendent of police.

The police have shifted the bodies to a government hospital for examination.

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