12 dead, dozens missing in India boat accident

NEW DELHI, India – At least 12 people drowned and dozens were missing after a tour boat capsized on an Indian river Sunday, September 15, police and local media reports said, as rescuers searched frantically for survivors.

The Royal Vashishta vessel was carrying 63 people, most of them tourists, to a picnic spot near Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh state in southeast India at the time of the accident.

Rescue teams including divers and a helicopter were scouring the river, a senior police official said.

Some 12 bodies had been found and 17 people rescued, police told the Press Trust of India.

The Godavari river has been flowing fast for a week, local media said, adding that the boat was run by the state government.

Overcrowding and poor safety checks often cause boat accidents in India, especially during the annual monsoon rains when rivers are swollen.

Last week a dozen people died in central Bhopal after two boats capsized during a ceremony to immerse an idol of Hindu god Ganesha into a river. – Rappler.com