Update: Twenty-one people drowned in the Krishna River after an overcrowded boat capsized near the Ibrahimpatnam Ferry in Krishna district on Sunday.
New Delhi: At least 11 people, including seven woman, died and several others were feared drowned when the boat carrying them capsized in Krishna River near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday evening, the police said.
According to initial reports, the boat was ferrying 38 passengers from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangamam near Ibrahimpatnam on the outskirts of Vijayawada for a religious festival on Karthika Masam. The boat, owned by a private agency, overturned as it approached the ferry point around 5.45pm. As many as 20 passengers wearing life jackets were brought ashore with the help of trained swimmers and local fishermen.
According to the latest report, five bodies were recovered from the river. Bad light is understood have hampered the rescue operations. It is learnt that the boat was carrying 38 passengers as against its capacity of 24.
The Tourism Department of Andhra Pradesh has given permission for private agencies to operate boats to Bhavani Island regularly. However, locals have alleged that many boats do not have sufficient number of life jackets and carry more passengers than their actual capacity. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed the authorities to intensify rescue operations with the help of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).