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Andhra Pradesh boat capsize incident: Death-toll rises to 19

The death toll in the boat capsize incident in Krishna River near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh has climbed to 19 following the recovery of three more bodies on November 13. Four more passengers were still missing.

State disaster response and fire services department sources said while two bodies were recovered by teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), another was fished out by personnel of his department.

Four more boat passengrs are still missing. We are pressing scuba divers into service to trace the missing persons. Since there is lot of water movement because rescue teams are at work, the bodies, if any, could have floated away. The rescue operations have been intensified.

A tourist boat packed with 35-40 passengers capsized into river Krishna at the Pavithra Sangamam ghat near Vijayawada on Sunday evening. 16 bodies were fished out. Sources said that 15 people had been saved while 10 others were feared missing on November 12 th night. A majority of the victims were members of the walkers club fron Nellore and Ongole towns who boarded the killer boat for a joy ride.

The accident occured at a place where the daily harathi is given to river goddess Krishnaveni at the confluence of Krishna and Godavari rivers called Pavitra Sangamam.  The boat overturned while it was returning from the Bhavani Island to the Pavithra Sangamam

The authorities have pressed into service a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to rescue the missing passengers. 

They said that the boat, run by Simple Water Sports, was ferrying 35-40 passengers, much more than its capacity of 20.  It was for the first time that the boat belonging to a two month old company River boating had taken up the river cruise from the Bhavani island area. According to sources the boat driver had no clue about the silt accumulating in that stretch of the river. The speeding boat crashed into a huge mound of silt and capsized. Under the impact of the crash, people sitting on the top deck fell into the river while others in the lower decks were stuck inside the boat.

Sunday being a holiday and this being the auspicious Karthika Masam, the number of tourists was more than usual.

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