September 15, 2019 / 5:18 PM / a month ago

At least eight dead after boat capsizes in southern Indian state: official

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - At least eight people died on Sunday and 25 were missing after a boat capsized in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, an official at the state’s disaster management authority said.

The tourist boat was carrying more than 60 people including crew when the incident happened on the river Godavari, Santhi Swaroop, executive director at the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority told Reuters by phone.

“We have identified eight bodies so far, and rescued 27 people. Rescue efforts by officials to find those missing are on,” Swaroop said, adding the cause of the accident was unclear.

Local TV showed images of the overturned boat and survivors and family members crying at a local hospital.

Boat accidents are common in India, with limited regulations and lackadaisical safety checks leading to fatal accidents across the country. However, local media reported that in this case passengers were wearing life jackets.

Two major incidents of boats capsizing claimed over 15 lives each in 2017, in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. A similar incident in Andhra Pradesh state killed at least 16 people in November 2017. (reut.rs/2kifbZz)

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer, William Maclean

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