Five persons on board a crowded fishing trawler drowned after the vessel capsized near Kadamat island in Lakshadweep on Saturday morning. Two of them were children.

Twenty-four others either swam to safety or were rescued by local people and the coastal police. Police sources said the vessel, Al Ameen, capsized when the passengers thronged to one side of the vessel on learning that its engine had failed. The condition of a couple of passengers was stated to be critical.

The trawler was ferrying people from Amini island to Kadamat, a distance of just over a km. It was not known as to how many people were on board, but no one has been reported missing so far.

Victims

Following is the list of victims released by the Lakshadweep Administration: Moosa, 45; Mohammed Koya, 55, a driver with the Public Works Department; Saina, 50, his wife, all from Amini; and young Rubina and Alfiya from Kadamat. The parents of the two children managed to escape, sources said.

With no other mode of water transport available between the isles, Al Ameen and another trawler ferry people to and fro in the morning and evening every day except Fridays.

The neighbouring islands belong to the Amindivi sub-group of islands, located in the central part of Lakshadweep. Kadamat has an area of just over 3 sq km and a population of over 5,000. It is located about 75 km from Kavaratti, headquarters of Lakshadweep.

The administration has offered Rs.1.5 lakh to next of kin of the victims as relief.

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