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12 killed, 30 missing as boat capsizes in Godavari
12 killed, 30 missing as boat capsizes in Godavari

Visakhapatnam, Sep 16 (TIWN) A pleasure trip turned into tragedy for many families as a boat with over 60 tourists capsized in swollen Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district on Sunday, killing 12 persons while at least 30 went missing.

While 27 people were rescued by members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local villagers, eight bodies were recovered as of late Sunday evening, officials said. Rescue operations, however, were hampered due to heavy flow of water and darkness. 

The boat — Royal Vashishta — was operating without a licence and had around 60 people on board, according to a government statement. It was ferrying passengers from Gandi Pochamma temple near Rajahmundry to Papikondalu hill range, a popular tourist spot.  Rescued passengers were shifted to a government hospital at Rampachodavaram, superintendent of police (East Godavari), Adnan Nayeem Asmi, said. 

State home minister Mekathoti 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 managed to venture out with tourists. “The Godavari has been in spate due to fresh floods for the last one week… Stern action will be taken against the culprits,” Sucharita said.

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