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Godavari boat mishap toll rises to 35, boat owner held

By Express News Service

KAKINADA: The toll in the boat accident in the River Godavari rose to 35 on Friday with the retrieval of another body by rescue teams. A tourist boat, Royal Vasishta, carrying 75 people, including 67 tourists and eight crew, capsized on September 15 at Kachuluru village of Devipatnam Mandal in East Godavari district. 

The body, identified as that of Aruna (28) from Visakhapatnam, was found on the West Godavari side and shifted to Rajamahendravaram Government General Hospital. The search is continuing for the remaining 14 missing people. 

Meanwhile, the Special Task Force formed by the district police arrested boat owner Kodigudla Venkataramana along with two others. Disclosing the details, Rampachodavaram ASP Vakul Jindal said the other two arrested were Yasalla Prabhavati and Yerramsetti Achyutamani. They were arrested at KVR Travels in Rajamahendravaram and cases were registered against them under Section 59/2019 u/s 304 (11) r/w 34 IPC.

‘Efforts on to retrieve boat’ 

In spite of adverse weather conditions and increasing inflows in the river, the experts from Mumbai, Kakinada and Visakhapatnam, are making every effort to retrieve the boat from the river. West Godavari SP Adnan Nayeem Asmi said that rescue efforts were put on hold temporarily due to adverse weather

They will be produced before the Rampachodavaram magistrate court. A case was also registered against KVR Travels who are the operators of the ill-fated Royal Vasishtha. 

“Experts drawn from different places are making every effort to retrieve the boat that is at about 300 feet depth in the river in spite of adverse weather conditions,” said East Godavari SP Adnan Nayeem Asmi. 
Speaking to TNIE, he said the increasing intensity of flood flow, depth, and presence of large number whirlpools in the area were proving a hindrance. “We expect the boat wreckage to be retrieved in another 3-4 days,” he said. Of the total of 75 people on board the boat, 26 were rescued and 35 bodies retrieved.

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