At least 22 killed after tourist boat capsizes

Usman Deen
Usman Deen

Global Courant 2023-05-08 13:47:18

In the south Indian state of Kerala, at least 22 people were killed on Sunday evening, many of them children. Rescuers had found eight people with injuries the next morning, four of them in critical condition.

Some passengers were trapped under the ship, which was completing a five-mile journey in the mouth of the Purapuzha River near the town of Tanur on India’s southwestern coast. The boat had more than 40 tourists on board, according to survivors, when it capsized around 7 p.m.

“The boat was overcrowded,” said Abdul Nazar, a local police officer. It didn’t have enough life jackets, other officials and survivors said. Local media reported that the ship also had no requirement security certificateand was not allowed to operate so late in the day.

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The victims included seven children, the youngest 10 months old, and 11 victims were from one family, according to authorities, who have not been able to verify how many people were on board the boat at the time of the accident. Five passengers swam ashore and were treated at a nearby hospital, according to V. Abdurahiman, a local lawmaker overseeing the rescue operation.

Videos posted on social media showed hundreds of locals assisting in after-dark rescues. The red and white boat was initially stuck in the mud, but was later brought ashore with long ropes attached to excavators.

Police said a family living near the coast informed them of the accident after hearing people screaming near it. Officials from the National Disaster Response and Navy continued to search for the missing on Monday.

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, said he was “tormented by the loss of life” and announced a bereavement payment to the families of the victims. according to his office.

The boat service had begun just a few months ago, as part of a state government initiative to increase tourism in the area. Police said they are investigating the owner of the boat, who is missing, for wrongful death.

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Boat accidents are not uncommon in Kerala and are often due to ships carrying too many passengers due to lax regulations and implementation of safety rules. In September 2009, a double-decker passenger boat capsized, killing 45 people, including seven children, in the Idukki district of Kerala. The cause of the disaster was the overloaded boat.

In recent years, the government agencies have taken steps to implement various security measures, including installing surveillance cameras to prevent the tragedies.


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At least 22 killed after tourist boat capsizes

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