14 drown as boat capsizes in Krishna river

14 drown as boat capsizes in Krishna river

Three teams of NDRF and other forces were deployed at the Sangamam ghat and professional swimmers who dived in managed to rescue more than 15 persons. 32 of the victims belong to Ongole town.

The ill-fated boat was being operated by a private company and was said to be on a trial run.

The boat overturned as it was nearing the ferry point at around 5:45 pm. "For more than an hour, no one tried to pull the people stuck under the tourist boat", an eye-witness said.

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Mr Chinarajappa, ministers Akhila Priya, Siddha Raghava Rao and a host of top officials were monitoring the relief and rescue operation and the search for bodies.

Police said the ferry riders were not wearing life jackets, The Press Trust of India news agency reported. Local media reports suggested the boat was overloaded with passengers and the buoyancy of water changed leading to the disaster. According to IANS, there were 38 tourists on the boat belonging to a private operator. However, locals allege that many boats do not have sufficient number of life jackets and carry more passengers than their sanctioned capacity.

The state's tourism minister ordered an inquiry into the incident while Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu expressed his condolences on Twitter.

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