A major mishap was averted in East Godavari of Andhra Pradesh, after a boat carrying 120 passengers caught on fire and engulfed into flames due to a suspected short circuit. However, all the passengers were rescued with no casualties involving.
The incident occurred at around 10.40 am.
According to police, the boat started at Angaluru was going to Papikondaluâa major tourist destination. The staff noticed smoke emitting from the engine before reaching the destination, which quickly turned into a fire. The workers then tried to douse the fire with water but in vain. The staff then halted the boat on a shore near a village in the Polavaram area and with help of local villagers began to evacuate the ship. The locals also proceeded to alert Rampachodavaram police who took two boats and ensured that all passengers were rescued.
Speaking about the incident, Rampachodavaram Inspector BH Venkateshwarulu told TNM, âLuckily, we were very close to the spot when we received the call. We immediately took two boats and rescued all of them. They were then provided relief at the police station.â The police suspect that the boat, which was enabled with air-conditioning, had a short circuit which would have caused the fire.
âWe are yet to file a case and are looking into the details [to see] if the boat management is at fault,â he said.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Information and Public Relations Department has released a statement stating that the Chief Minister has spoken to the East Godavari Collector and has instructed officials to provide all necessary relief measures to affected passengers.
A similar accident occurred in November of last year in Vijayawada. However, the passengers were less fortunate and 21 casualties were reported, after the boat which had been operating without a license capsized. The incident took place near Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Ghat. The boat had been overloaded with passengers who were on the way to witness the âMaha Haarathiâ ritual from the Pavithra Sanghamam.
The tragedy, which remains one of the worst boat accidents in Andhra Pradesh, took three days for rescue teams to fish out the dead bodies from the river.