Amaravati, Sept.15 (NSS): Several people were feared drowned when an APTDC boat overturned after hitting a rock in the swollen Godavari river in East Godavari district on Sunday afternoon. The NDRF teams rescued over 27 passengers and fished out seven bodies till this evening. Of the 51 tourists traveling in the ill-fated boat, 29 were from Telangana State i.e. 12 from Hyderabad and 17 from Warangal. Other 30 persons were from Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry. The rescued persons were admitted to Rampachodavaram general hospital.
The Godavari has been in spate for the past few days and over 5.13 lakh cusecs of floodwater was flowing on Sunday afternoon when the mishap occurred. There were 67 people, including 11 crew members, in the ill-fated boat “Punnami” started off for Papikondalu, a prime tourist destination, from Gandi Pochamma Temple near Devipatnam and it capsized near Kachhuluru.
Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam ascertained details of the tragedy from East Godavari District Collector Muralidhar Reddy. The CS directed that a helicopter be pressed into service to trace the boat mishap victims. Police and other rescue teams have started off from East and West Godavari districts for the accident spot, but it could take some time for them to reach there because of the swollen river.