The accident occurred in East Godavari district as the boat, with around 30 to 40 people on board, capsized after hitting a pillar.

East Godavari boat tragedy Two bodies recovered five missing feared dead
news Boat Mishap Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 10:22

Even as rescue operations continue for the seven persons missing from the boat accident in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district on Saturday, two of the bodies have been recovered. 

Rescue officials on Monday salvaged the body of 11-year-old Thirukoti Priya from the banks of river Godavari. On Sunday, the body of 35-year-old Galla Nagamani washed ashore at Pushkar Ghat in Komaragiri. 

Meanwhile, the other five persons still missing are presumed to be dead. 

The accident occurred near Pasuvullanka in I. Polavaram Mandal (block) in East Godavari district on Saturday. The boat, with around 30 to 40 people on board, capsized after hitting a pillar of an under-construction bridge.

Along with officials from NDRF and SDRF, the Navy also had been deployed for the search operation. Three helicopters and four drones were engaged in the operation. So far, 22 teams have been involved with the search operations for the missing students.

The boat had adults and children on board. The children were heading back from their school after attending Vanam manam programme, organised by the state government. 

The Pasuvula Lanka ZP high school to which the children were heading to, serves as many as 153 children from nearby hamlets and have a teaching staff strength of just eight. 

The school headmistress N Satyanarayana told The New Indian Express that the programme was held after instructions from the state government officials. The school was supposed to remain closed on account of the second Saturday. 

The boat had a carrying capacity of 10-15 people but over 30 were on board.

Speaking to TNM, Vishal Gummi, Superintendent of Police, East Godavari, had earlier said, "It is a case of an accident, as the driver rammed into a pillar of an under-construction bridge."

When asked if it was negligence on part of the driver, which led to the accident, the senior police official said, "It is tough to say. As of now, we are focusing on rescue operations and we have taken the driver into custody and have registered a case. We will launch a detailed investigation soon to find out how it happened." 

The Superintendent added that heavy rains were hampering the rescue operations.