At least 16 dead as overloaded boat capsizes in India

At least 16 dead as overloaded boat capsizes in India

At least 16 dead as overloaded boat capsizes in India

Later, 16 bodies were fished out of the river. The panic-stricken passengers tried to rush to one side, but the inexperienced driver failed to control and the boat overturned.

"According to preliminary investigation, the private agency which was operating the boat did not have a licence from the tourism department", he said.

A total of 38 passengers and three crew members were on-board the vessel, which was operated by a private company and traveling along the Krishna river near Vijayawada on Sunday.

The incident comes days after at least 9 people were killed in similar incidents in Vaishali and Samastipur districts of Bihar. As many as 20 passengers wearing life jackets were brought ashore with the help of trained swimmers and local fishermen.

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The state government on Sunday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the bereaved.

Thirty-two of the victims belonging to Ongole town were on a picnic tour.

"Rescue operations are on and they will continue until all have been traced", a local police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is in Kerala now, held a teleconference with the ministers and officials from the accident site itself.

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