12 dead, 35 missing in India after sightseeing boat capsizes in swollen river
'Stern action will be taken,' home minister says, as accident occurred after tours barred in Godavari River
A sightseeing boat has capsized on a swollen river in southern India, killing 12 people and leaving 35 missing, a government official says.
Andra Pradesh state's home minister, Mekathoti Sucharita, said Sunday that 50 passengers and 11 crew, all Indian nationals, were on board the boat when it capsized in the Godavari River on Sunday.
Twenty-four people have been rescued, while 25 are missing, Sucharita said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.
Extremely pained by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Rescue operations are currently underway at the site of the tragedy.—@narendramodi
The accident occurred near Kachuluru village in East Godavari district, 380 kilometres east of the state's capital of Hyderabad.
Sucharita said tour boats had been barred from operating on the route following the recent flooding of the river and it was not clear how the boat that capsized had managed to take out the tourists.
"Stern action will be taken against the culprits," Sucharita said.
Apart from tourists, residents in the area depend on boats and ferries to travel between villages on the banks of the Godavari.
In May 2018, 30 people were killed when a similar boat carrying local people capsized not far from the scene of Sunday's accident. A few months later, a boat carrying 80 tourists caught fire when a cooking gas cylinder exploded, but there were no casualties.