At least 12 people drowned and 17 others were rescued after a boat carrying them to a tourist spot capsized in the swollen Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, police said.
The boat was carrying around 60 people, including nine-member crew, and a search was on for others.
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock over the grave tragedy and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
The boat, belonging to a private operator, was on its way to the picturesque Papikondalu tourist spot in the middle of the river when it met with the accident, apparently on colliding with a large rock formation, at Kachchuluru in East Godavari district, about 200 km from Amaravati, they said.
Twelves bodies have been retrieved so far while 17 people were rescued by the locals, police said, adding two teams of National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force, with a total of 140 personnel, have been sent to the accident spot for rescue operations.
A special helicopter has been pressed into service from Rajamahendravaram for the rescue operation.
The river 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.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine