14 feared drowned in Andhra Pradesh boat mishap

Initial reports say that the death toll has already reached 26 and nine bodies have been recovered

The boat overturned as it was nearing the ferry point at around 5:45 pm.

The passengers were making a trip from Punnami Ghat in Bhavanipuram to Pavitra Sangamam in Ferry village when the vessel capsized, PTI quoted an official as saying.

Addressing the media, the police said that rescue operations were on by the Vijayawada City Police and the National Disaster Rescue Force.

"The boat was overloaded with 38 people and a lot of them were not provided life jackets". Sixteen people have drowned in the incident.

Most of the passengers were said to be members of the Ongole Walkers Club in Prakasam district while some were from Nellore who were on a visit to Vijayawada.

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According to the Newspaper, The boat with around 38 persons was heading to the Pavitra Sangamam Ferry ghat near Ibrahimpatnam.Fifteen persons were rescued by local fishermen.

Later, 16 bodies were fished out of the river.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Deputy Chief Minister N China Rajappa, leader of opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and others expressed grief over the tragedy.

Gowtham Sawang, the police commissioner of Vijayawada, and other officials rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operation using high-power flashlights. He announced Rs 8 lakh compensation each to the families of the deceased.

Sixty members of the NDRF and 60 members of fire department with 12 boats participated in the rescue operation.

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