40 feared missing as boat capsizes in Andhra Pradesh

Passengers said the operator did not heed their pleas to stop the boat in strong winds

Dwvipatanam: Around 40 people are feared missing after a boat capsized due to strong winds in the Godavari River.

Twelve others, including two women and a child, swam to safety. The boat was carrying them from Kondamodalu in West Godavari district to Polavaram on May 15.

Twenty boats, expert swimmers and NDRF teams have been pressed into service to trace the missing people. The rescue operation is on in the river in pitch-dark condition.

Poor light hampered the rescue work. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has directed the district authorities to take all necessary steps for the safety of the missing people.

The mishap took place near Manturu, 18 km from the mandal headquarters of Devipatnam, around 6 pm. The organizer of the boat has surrendered before the police. East Godavari district collector Karthikeya Misra has rushed to the spot.

According to those who swam to safety, there were about 55 passengers, mostly tribals, on the boat. They complained that the operator did not heed their pleas to stop the boat even as strong winds were blowing.

(The Times of India)

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