At least 35 feared dead in Godavari boat mishap

At least 35 feared dead in Godavari boat mishap

A boat carrying at least 50 passengers capsized in the Godavari river on Tuesday due to inclement weather.

At least 35 people are feared dead after the boat they were travelling in capsized in the Godavari river near Mantoor in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday evening. 

A large posse of the navy, the NDRF, SDRF and irrigation department officials are undertaking a massive search and rescue operation.
Rescue operations that began immedietly after the mishap have been officially turned into a salvage operation with huge cranes ready to pull the boat out.
The boat carrying over 50 passengers capsized in the Godavari on Tuesday due to inclement weather. 

Officials said at least 15 passengers, including two women, swam to safety. 

The accident occurred around 5.30 pm when the boat en route to Rajahmundry from Kondamodalu carrying a marriage party and others sank after being hit by strong winds. The boat was supposed to reach its destination within an hour. 
On Wednesday morning, a helicopter from the Eastern Naval Command fitted with a sonar equipment located the boat at around 40 feet under water. Even after the navy divers and NDRF specialists located the spot, lifting the boat seems to be an impossible task.
“It will be very difficult to give you an exact number of the people trapped in the lower cabin of the boat. So far, 15 people have either been rescued or swam back to safety. The number of total passengers could be more than 35, we are preparing a list,” said Karthikeya Mishra, district collector. 
The police said that the boat operator may have issued tickets exceeding the capacity, leading to confusion over the actual number of victims. 

A few survivors said that the operator loaded several cement bags in the lower cabin and closed the windows to save them from the rain, trapping all the passengers inside the boat.

“When the winds become severe we asked the boat operator not to proceed further, he did not listen and continued with the journey,” a woman survivor said. 

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is monitoring the operations from Amaravati and may visit the accident site.