Andhra Pradesh boat capsize: At least 12 dead and 30 missing

At least 12 people have died and 30 are missing after a tourist boat capsized in the Godavari river in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The boat was carrying around 60 people and was on its way to a popular tourist spot on Sunday when it collided with a large rock.

Officials confirmed to BBC Telugu that 27 people have been safely evacuated.

Rescue authorities have been deployed and are searching for bodies in the river.

Survivors have spoken of their shock and grief.

One woman, Madhavilatha survived the accident but her husband and child did not.

“I should have died without my baby,” she told BBC Telugu in tears, “I have lost both my husband and child.”

The state’s chief minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, has directed officials to suspend all boating services in the region immediately.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences to the victims.

Skip Twitter post by @narendramodi

Extremely pained by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Rescue operations are currently underway at the site of the tragedy.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 15, 2019

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End of Twitter post by @narendramodi

Authorities told BBC Telugu that the the collision occurred in a “remote forest area” with inadequate communication facilities, making it a vulnerable area.

The tourism minister confirmed that the tourist boat had been operating without a licence.

Boats in India are often overloaded, and lax safety standards mean accidents are common.

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