Boat tragedy: five more bodies found by villagers

Villagers have found five highly decomposed bodies, presumed to be victims of the Kachuluru boat tragedy, downstream the Godavari at different places in East and West Godavari districts in the last few days, East Godavari Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi said.

“The bodies were found at Kothuru village in Polavaram mandal, at Vadapalli and Chigurulanka villages in Kovvur mandal, Pottilanka village in Kadiyam mandal and Yedurlanka village in I. Polavaram mandal,” Mr. Asmi said.

“Station House Officers (SHOs) registered cases upon tracing the bodies, which were decomposed beyond recognition. Instructions have been given to the police to collect samples from the bodies, which would be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for DNA tests,” Mr. Nayeem Asmi added.

Meanwhile, staff of the Kakinada-based Balaji Marines continued their efforts to salvage the sunken boat from the depths of the Godavari on the second day on Tuesday.

The team, headed by D. Satyam, along with rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Police, Fire and expert swimmers, began the operation on Monday.

The crew dropped iron cables into the river at the spot where the vessel capsized on September 15. The operation was called off in the evening.

Tribals from Devipatnam, Kachluru, Manturu, Kondamodalu and other hamlets in the Agency area thronged the Godavari bund to watch the 50-member team carry out the search operation with cranes, boats and other equipment.

‘Risky operation’

“As it is a risky operation, the entry of tourists has been barred at Kachluru village as a precautionary measure,” a police officer said.

Family members of the missing persons are still waiting at government hospital in Rajamahendravaram for any news about their dear ones. “It has been 15 days. While we have lost hope about the return of our loved ones, we hope that the officials will at least hand over the skeletal remains after conducting DNA tests so that we can conduct a proper funeral,” said a family member of one of the victims.

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