Two days after the the Kochi passenger boat mishap, the Kochi police have released fresh information about the passenger boat and the fishing boat whose collision has led to eight deaths and several injuries.
According to The Hindu's, the police found out that Shiju, the driver of the fishing boat that caused the boat accident, did not have a licence. The driver has been charged under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 280 (rash navigation of a vessel).
The Hindu also quoted officials saying, "The sword-like design of the fishing boat had blocked the driver's view. The accident could have been avoided if the boat had a helmsman, whose job is to guide the driver of obstacles and the course to take."
A New Indian Express report quoted an eyewitness saying "the ferry cracked like a biscuit". MB Bharath, the ferry, succumbed to the impact as it was in operation for 36 years. The fitness certificate of the passenger boat revealed that it was commissioned in 1979.
Manorama News said that the fitness certificate of the ferry from the port directorate was previously valid till 2013 and was renewed last year extending its validity to 2017.
TNIE also reports said that the ferry was short of life jackets. Even the ones that were on the boat were on rear side which sank first after the hit.
Manorama News quoted a passenger saying, "According to the fitness certificate,the boat should have 42 lifebuoys. But MB Bharath had only three."
Two bodies from the Kochi passenger boat mishap are still reportedly missing, which would increase the death toll to 10. Fousiya (25) of Kannamaly and Sebastine (24) of Nazareth, Fort Kochi are still missing.
The police, on preliminary investigation, said there were 35 people in the boat based on the number of tickets that were sold. However, the number is not confirmed.
The passenger boat allegedly capsized and sank after it was rammed in the middle by a fishing craft in the harbor mouth off Fort Kochi on Wednesday, August 26. 25 passengers were admitted in the hospital the same day, of which eight are reportedly in serious condition.