No life jackets, divers onboard capsized boat: Minister

No life jackets, divers onboard capsized boat: Minister

There were no life jackets and divers on board the ill-fated boat that capsized in Andaman and Nicobar Islands killing at least 21 people, Union Minister V Narayanasamy today said.

Eyewitnesses to the boat tragedy also claimed that there was a blast before the capsize and that there was an hour's delay before the marine rescue team could reach the spot.

"The boat capsized and they (tourists) died. In fact I came to know from reports that there were no life jackets in the boat and no divers to rescue the people. There was no guard in the boat," the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office said, terming the incident as "sad" and "unfortunate".

He also demanded a thorough inquiry into the tragedy.

"There should be a thorough inquiry and action should be taken against those responsible," said Narayanasamy, who represents Puducherry constituency in Lok Sabha.

While 21 persons died, 29 were rescued and one person was stated to be missing in the boat tragedy.

The victims included eight men, 13 women and one child, P Johar, Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman district said.

He said 16 more persons had been rescued last night in addition to the 23 rescued earlier, taking the total number of rescued to 29.

Eye witnesses told PTI today that before the capsize, they heard the sound of a blast.Fishermen fishing nearby also heard the sound and immediately rushed to the scene, the eye witnesses said.

They alleged that there was about an hour's delay before the marine rescue team's could reach the spot.

The local administration has launched further investigation and search operation for the missing person is going on. 

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