Several people feared dead after tourist ferry capsizes in Andhra

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Members of the Ongole Walkers Club had travelled to old Amaravati to take an auspicious Karthika dip in the Krishna River and perform pujas at the ancient Amareswara Temple. The boat with around 38 persons was heading to the Pavitra Sangamam Ferry ghat near Ibrahimpatnam. We are in the process of identifying the victims.

Home Minister N. Chinnarajappa, who rushed to the site, said 16 bodies had been recovered while the search was on for the missing.

Rajappa also announced an ex gratia of Rs 8 lakh to each of the families of the deceased.

The NDRF said three teams of it are now performing operation.

A total of 15 people were rescued with the help of locals. Some of the survivors complained that the police that the boat was shaking right from moment it started from Bhavani Island.

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The boat's carrying capacity is 24 people. They inquired with the APTDC regarding the availability of a boat, but were told that the boat service had been stopped due to poor light in the evening.

National Disaster Response Force personnel joined divers in the rescue operations, but these were hampered with the sunset.

The tourism department of Andhra Pradesh had given permission for private agencies to operate boats to Bhavani Island regularly.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has expressed shock over the accident and ordered a probe by a senior police officer.

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