12 bodies recovered from capsized Godavari launch

Muriel Colon
May 17, 2018

Today, divers were able to rescue some of the bodies after the motor launch was found struck in the sand at a depth of 60 feet near Varapalli tribal village. On Wednesday, teams of Indian Navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) brought a JCB from the nearby Polavaram project site but could not pull out the wreckage of the boat from the river. When the boat was 10 minutes away from the banks, heavy rain and high-velocity winds started during which the small vessel lost its balance and capsized.

The rescue efforts were on despite darkness, said local legislator V. Rajeswari, who was supervising the rescue and relief operations.

He said a total of 44 people were on the launch and half of them swam to safety.

At least 40 people, mostly tribals, are feared drowned in Godavari river when a boat capsized during inclement weather in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district. He was informed by the officials that the launch was carrying cement bags and two-wheelers. He said the government would provide jobs to one member each from the families of the victims and would also make arrangements for free education for their children.

Divers then got into the act to extricate the bodies of the passengers by breaking open the glass windows.

But boat accidents are also common in India for other reasons mainly overcrowding, poor maintenance and lax safety.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed the officials to undertake rescue operations on a war footing.

The boat apparently belongs to Laxmi Venkateshwara boat services and the owner Khaja Mohinuddeen has surrendered at the Devipatnam police station following the incident, ETV reported. East Godavari district Collector Kartikeya Misra, Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni and West Godavari SP Ravi Prakash are supervising the rescue operations.

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