On Monday, rescue workers and fishermen retrieved three bodies including a 14-year-old boy's.

AP boat tragedy Death toll mounts to 20 CM announces Rs 10 lakh each to kin of dead
news Tragedy Monday, November 13, 2017 - 19:27

The death toll in Sunday's boat capsize in Andhra Pradesh's Krishna district rose to 20 on Monday as three more bodies were retrieved from Krishna river and one of the injured succumbed on evening.

The deceased were identified as Katari Sudhakar (60), Popuri Haritha (33), Kosuri Rishit Roy (14) and Katari Bhulakshmi.

Bhulakshmi (57) died while undergoing treatment in a government hospital, police said.

The overloaded boat of a private operator carrying 42 tourists, including three crew members, capsized near Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Ghat on Sunday evening.

The tourists, majority of them hailing from Ongole town, were coming from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangamam to witness 'Maha haarathi' ritual on the last Sunday of the auspicious month of 'Karthika'.

However, the overloaded boat capsized after hitting a sand bar. Local fishermen and NDRF and State Disaster Response Force had rescued 21 persons.

Making a statement in the state Assembly, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said 20 bodies had been recovered and the bodies have been handed over to their relatives.

He said out of 21 rescued and admitted to hospitals, 17 were discharged and four were still undergoing treatment.

He announced Rs five lakh reward for two fishermen, who rescued 17 people.

Naidu, who also visited the scene of the accident, said the whereabouts of three crew members were not known. He said the private boat had no license to operate.

The tourists had boarded a boat of the tourism department, but when told that the time for ferrying passengers was already over they boarded the private boat.

The Chief Minister said the driver was inexperienced and unfamiliar with the area. He suddenly lost control of the overloaded boat, which capsized.

The police has registered a criminal case against the boat operator.

Naidu announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the dead.

Terming the incident unfortunate, the Chief Minister said a committee comprising of IAS and IPS officers has been formed to prevent such incidents in future.

As many as 32 members of the Ongole Walkers' Club were on board.

The deceased also include three relatives of Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary K Narayana, a relative each of Director General of Police Sambasiva Rao and intelligence official Rama Rao.

Meanwhile search operation for five missing persons including three boat crew members is still underway.


With IANS inputs

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