Bodies of three advocates and two others who drowned on Saturday night when the boat in which they were travelling capsized near Mettugudem village in the Godavari have been traced.

They were handed over on Sunday evening to relatives after the post-mortem at the Government Hospital here. In all, 15 advocates and 11 others were travelling to Papikondalu when the accident occurred. Bodies of advocates Amarneni Ramakrishna (40), secretary of the TDP district legal cell, along with Mondi Nookeswara Rao alias Lokesh (26), Sappa Rambabu (44) and two other passengers, Gandham Raghava and Toleti Ravindra, were traced between Mettugudem and Devipatnam by afternoon.

According to in-charge RDO of Rampachodavaram, Challa Vinaya Mohan, 15 advocates, two relatives of an advocate, a court staffer and eight passengers left Kovvuru on Saturday afternoon and reached Sivagiri village by van and motorbikes. They engaged a country motorboat with capacity to carry 10 passengers. The boat hit a rocky hump and overturned near Mettugudem. Twenty one passengers, including a woman, swam to safety. Police and swimmers later found the bodies.

Daunting task

Eluru Staff Reporter writes:

The search operations proved to be a daunting task for the official machinery of West and East Godavari districts. Inaccessibility, lack of communication facility and high-velocity currents in the river proved to be major hiccups for tracing the bodies.