12 bodies recovered from capsized Godavari launch

AP CM directs officials to send rescue teams to accident site

He said officials had been asked to take up the rescue operations on a war footing. The state disaster management teams and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel were pressed into service. When the boat was 10 minutes away from the banks, heavy rain and high-velocity winds started during which the small vessel lost its balance and capsized.

"They are still travelling by boats to reach the officials to get the compensation amount", the Jana Sena chief said.

Officials are still trying to ascertain the number of passengers who were in the boat though 16 including the driver and boat owner swam to safety, last evening.

Massive search and rescue operations are continuing in the Godavari river where a passenger boat capsized on Tuesday, and around 20 people are still reported to be missing. "There was gale yesterday and the boat was also laden with cement bags and two-wheelers". He said the government would provide jobs to one member each from the families of the victims and would also make arrangements for free education for their children.

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Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu arrived at Polavaram in West Godavari in a copter and he proceeded to Vadapalli by road and inspected the rescue operations.

The boat, with about 40 passengers, was on its way to Rajamahendravaram (Rajahmundry) from Devipatnam when the tragedy struck.

Describing the deaths as nothing but government killings, Pawan said it was unfortunate that the government was least bothered about lack of permissions and checking fitness of the boats to operate in the river. He spoke to the District Collector and other officials over phone.

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