22 killed in Andhra launch capsize, 12 bodies fished out

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The bodies of 12 people, including two children, were retrieved after an open motor boat capsized in the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district on Tuesday evening, reported IANS.

Describing the deaths as nothing but government killings, Pawan said it was unfortunate that the government was least bothered about lack of permissions and checking fitness of the boats to operate in the river. "It is already dark here, we have to find out what happened onboard", he told IE.

Giving assurance about the rescue operations, Naidu said that two platoons (60 personnel) of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), two platoons (60 personnel) of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), four navy helicopters and two air force helicopters are part of the operations.

Ajitha further said, "The doors being locked might be the reason behind more people getting stuck".

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his anguish over the incident on Twitter. He also extended his condolences to the families of the victims for those still missing.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed the officials to launch rescue operations on war footing. The chief minister spoke to East Godavari district officials over the phone. Even before one come to terms with it, the fresh tragedy of capsizing of a boat carrying wedding troupe come as a huge shocker. My thoughts are with the families of those killed or still missing in this tragedy. Jagan Mohan Reddy has instructed party cadre to help in the rescue works.

Being the weekly shandy day, the boat was over crowded with the tribals buying their household needs at Devipatnam and returning to their habitations situated along the down stream of the river.