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1 more body retrieved, 3 boat owners arrested

Rajahmundry: East Godavari police on Friday arrested the three owners of the tourist boat which capsized in river Godavari near Katchuluru in Devipatnam mandal of the district last Sunday. A case under section 304 (2) of the IPC was booked against Kodigudla Venkata Ramana, Yella Prabhavati and Yerramsetty Atchutamani, who were picked up from their KVR Travels office in Rajahmundry.
Earlier in the day, another body was recovered from the river, taking the total number of bodies retrieved so far to 35. But there is still confusion over the total number persons travelling in the boat when it capsized. Former Amalapuram MP G V Harsha Kumar said on Thursday that 93 persons were in the boat. On Friday, agriculture minister Kurasala Kanna Babu put the number at 77, stating that 26 people were rescued, 35 bodies have been recovered so far and another 16 bodies are yet to be traced.
East Godavari SP Nayeem Asmi, however, maintained that there were 73 people in the ill-fated boat.
Meanwhile, rescue teams are still in a fix on how to retrieve the boat from the river bed. “The boat is lying around 220 ft below in the middle of whirlpools. An expert team from Mumbai is consulting with international experts, as it is not possible to bring cranes to the capsize spot as it is far from the river bank. The rescue teams may go for some out-of-the-box solution to retrieve the bodies from the boat if required,” Asmi told TOI.

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