22 people killed in India tourist boat capsizing incident

Liputan6.com, New Delhi – At least 22 people have died after a fully laden tour boat capsized off the coast of the Indian state of Kerala. The death toll is expected to rise following rescue efforts which continued on Monday (05/08/2023) as the boat was pulled from the muddy waters.

Malappuram District Police Inspector Abdul Nazar said overcapacity caused the two-deck boat to capsize.

The vessel is believed to have been carrying around 50 people or double its capacity when it capsized on Sunday (7/5) evening.

“At least four people who have been taken to hospital are in critical condition,” said Kerala Minister of Sports and Fisheries, V Abdurahiman. BBC, Monday.

Among the victims of the sinking were women and children who were enjoying their school holidays.

Shameer, a coastguard involved in the rescue operation, told the news channel Mathrubhumi that the ship had indeed capsized when the rescue team arrived on the scene.

“I found four bodies and none of them were wearing life jackets,” he said.

Ambika, a resident of Tanur region, told the news channel Manorama that when he first saw the ship approach, everyone cheered.

“But suddenly the lights went out, the ship sank and the cheers were replaced by cries for help,” said Ambika, who added that she immediately called the police for help.

“But we couldn’t do anything because it was getting dark and there was no way to reach the passengers.”

Ship accidents are not uncommon in India. Overloading, lack of maintenance and lack of safety equipment are common triggers.

Police on Monday recorded the incident as intentional homicide, while the owner of the boat reportedly fled. Authorities also said they were investigating whether the vessel had the appropriate permits.

Cheryl Tenny

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