22 People died as A tourist boat capsizes in southern India


NEW DELHI (AP) More than 22 people, including children, were killed when a double-decker boat carrying more than 30 passengers capsized on a beach in southern India , officials said.

Rescue teams hope to recover more bodies from inside the boat after pulling it out of the muddy waters, police officer Abdul Nazar said. Response forces and Indian Coast Guard officials said they were busy with rescue operations and searches for missing persons.

The tourist boat capsized near the mouth of the Poorapza River in the coastal town of Tanur in the Malappuram district of Kerala, and most of the passengers were tourists. Nazar said authorities were investigating the cause of the accident and said the boat appeared to have capsized due to overcrowding. The dead included children who came on a boat trip during school holidays, Sports Minister V. Abdullahiman told the Press Trust of India News Agency, adding that four people were taken to hospital in serious condition.

The state premier, who is visiting the area on Monday, offered his condolences to the families of the victims and urged district officials to oversee the rescue.
Citing a government statement, the PTI reported that Monday had been declared an official day of mourning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet that he was “heartbroken for the loss of his life” and announced compensation for the victims’ families. Boat accidents are common in India, where many ships are overcrowded and safety equipment is inadequate.

In September 2020, 12 people drowned when a tour boat capsized in the swollen Godavari river in southern Andhra Pradesh. In May 2018, a boat capsized in the same area, killing 30 people.