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Death toll in Vijayawada boat mishap rises to 18

 
Krishna boat tragedy: Death toll rises to 18
The death toll in Sunday evening's boat mishap in the Krishna river near here in Andhra Pradesh has risen to 18 with the recovery of two more bodies since last night, official sources said.
 
The tragedy occurred when a boat carrying about 40 tourists from various parts of Andhra Pradesh capsized in the river around 5 pm yesterday.
 
As many as 15 people were rescued alive, Krishna district officials told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene of the tragedy. According to other sources, the victims included six women and four children.
 
There was no clarity on the number of people who were travelling in the boat and search and rescue efforts continued through the night to look for any possible survivors, the officials said.
 
Local fishermen and others jumped into the waters and managed to save 15 people, the sources said. Officials said 16 bodies were recovered from the river by late yesterday evening and two more since then, including one early this morning.
 
Teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the fire service and other emergency services are involved in the search and rescue efforts and senior district officials are camping at the spot.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was due to visit the scene of the tragedy today, while State Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya visited the spot last night and this morning.
 
She told journalists that the private company which owned the boat did not have the required permissions to ferry so many passengers and an inquiry would be held to establish it was allowed to carry so many people.
 
The company had received the ill-fated boat only yesterday morning and was carrying out a trial run when it capsized, sources said.
 
The boat was carrying the  passengers from Bhavani island to the Pavitra Sangamam to witness Pavitra Harati, a ritual which attracts a lot of tourists, when the mishap occurred.
 
Several of the passengers were said to be from Prakasam district and some others from Nellore, the sources added.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the mishap. "Capsizing of a boat in the Krishna River is anguishing. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Andhra Pradesh Government and @NDRFHQ have been working on rescue operations," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
NNN
 
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