Operation to salvage boat begins

Fifteen days after the boat tragedy in the Godavari River, Balaji Marines, a private firm, began the operation on Monday to pull out the vessel which was in waters.

Staff of the company arranged about 800 metres of iron cable, iron hooks, punt (a big raft), a couple of boats and expert swimmers on the river bed at Kachluru village, where the boat capsized.

The Royal Vasista tourist boat was ferrying 77 persons to Papikondalu when the accident occurred. Fifteen tourists and a couple of the boat crew were still missing and the rescue teams retrieved 36 bodies from the river at different places.

The crew of the company tried to hook to the sunken boat by dropping the iron cable and called off the operation by evening.

The police prevented villagers and the outsiders from entering Kachluru village and the neighbouring tribal hamlets and imposed several restrictions as a precautionary measure.

Appeal to victims’ kin

Meanwhile, East Godavari district Superintendent of Police (SP) Adnan Nayeem Asmi has appealed to the kin of the missing boat victims to give their blood samples to identify the decomposed bodies, which were retrieved in the river after the tragedy. The samples would be matched with the DNA profiles of the bodies at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). “Parents, siblings or the victim’s children can give the samples, along with their photographs and ID proof. Family members of the missing persons can submit the proof and the samples at the Rajamahendravaram Urban District Police Office, to Circle Inspector Rajini Kumar and contact him over phone No.9440796395,” the SP said.

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