At least eight dead, 37 missing as boat capsizes in flooded Godavari

Rescue operations continue near the accident spot in Godavari River   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In a major tragedy in Andhra Pradesh, a private boat carrying tourists to Papikondalu capsized in the Godavari near Katchuluru village of East Godavari district on September 15, leaving at least eight dead and over 37 missing. As many as 27 were rescued.

The accident occurred post-noon when the boat ‘Vashista’ headed to the tourist destination against an inflow of about 5 lakh cusecs of floodwater in the Godavari, which has been in spate for the past several days. The boat, which had no permission to operate from the government, began the trip from Singanapalli Revu in Devipatnam mandal. 

Alert locals of Katchuluru village rescued about 14 persons. Most of the tourists who survived were wearing life jackets, locals said.


The survivors were initially admitted to the Rampachodavaram Area Hospital and they quickly recovered. 

East Godavari Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi said there were 72 persons on board, including about eight boat crew members, at the time of the accident. Eight bodies have been retrieved. 

However, the number of persons on board and the number of victims couldn’t be confirmed as different government agencies, including the district administration and the Revenue Department, were giving different figures. The government has released a list of 21 survivors.

Photo: Twitter/@gkd600

Photo: Twitter/@gkd600  


While some of the rescue teams have been withdrawn from the operation, National Disaster Response Force teams will continue the search for survivors through the night. 

An ONGC chopper has also been pressed into service. More rescue teams will be engaged early on September 16.

Navy deploys aircraft

The Navy has deployed a Dornier aircraft to assist the rescue operations.

The Dornier, carrying a Naval diving team, inflatable Gemini boat and associated equipment, was deployed from the Naval Air Station, INS Dega to Rajahmundry in the evening after which the Naval divers joined the search efforts. 

Two Naval helicopters would also be deployed from INS Dega at daybreak on September 16, according to an official release. A specialised deep divers team with ‘Side Scan Sonar’ equipment from Uttarakhand will join the rescue operations on September 16.

Most from Telangana

A majority of the tourists were from Hyderabad, Warangal and Visakhapatnam cities. According to reports, 22 of them are from Hyderabad, 14 from Warangal and 13 from Visakhapatnam.

At least eight dead, 37 missing as boat capsizes in flooded Godavari

The State government has announced an ex gratia of ₹10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. The government also ordered the immediate suspension of boat services in the region. 

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who enquired about the accident directed the officials to carry out the rescue operations on a war-footing basis. He also asked the available Ministers in the district to visit the spot and supervise the rescue operation.

The Chief Minister has asked for a complete report on the incident and asked to release safety guidelines prepared by an experts committee.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 6:21:40 PM |

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