12 dead in AP boat mishap; search on for 10 missing

Boat Carrying 40 People Capsizes in Godavari 23 Feared Missing

Boat Carrying 40 People Capsizes in Godavari 23 Feared Missing

Chandrababu Naidu also took to the micro-blogging site and said the incident is "highly painful" and officials have been asked to take up the rescue operations on a war footing.

Divers failed in trying to locate the boat on Tuesday night due to the bad weather and darkness.

Though a warning about the inclement weather was issued at least half an hour in advance, there was no communication system in the boat to receive it, Naidu said. Ace swimmers to trace the missing persons had been pressed into service, he said.

The victims included members of a wedding party and people from local tribal communities, who regularly use the boats to reach their villages across India's second largest river that flows from the west of the country to the east coast.

At least 20 people on board the launch swam ashore, officials said. Officials informed him that the boat was also carrying cement bags and two-wheelers.

Being the weekly shandy day, the boat was over crowded with the tribals buying their household needs at Devipatnam and returning to their habitations situated along the down stream of the river. He said that AP Government should take stringent action on those who are running boats without proper safety.

East Godavari district collector Karthikeya Mishra told reporters at the scene that since the launch was stuck in the sand, the rescue workers were making efforts to tie the rope to the railing to pull it horizontally.

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

Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Home Minister N Chinarajappa directed officials to send NDRF teams to the accident area.

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