3 killed, 20 missing in Andhra boat accident

Initial reports say that the death toll has already reached 26 and nine bodies have been recovered

Five bodies were later recovered from under the boat.

The incident occurred around 5.45 PM when a private tourism boat was making a trip from Punnami Ghat, Bhavanipuram, to Pavitra Sangamam, Ferry village, the official said. They all belonged to Prakasam and Nellore districts.

Disaster at dusk: Rescue operations under progress at the Pavithra Sangamam in Vijayawada on Sunday.

This incident comes after 22 people died after a boat capsized on Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat.

National Disaster Response Force personnel joined divers in the rescue operations, but these were hampered with the sunset.

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Local fishermen at Ferry swung into action immediately and rescued 15 passengers. Efforts were on to find the remaining seven passengers, the police said, adding that none of the passengers was wearing life jacket. When the buoyancy of water changed at the Pavithra Sangamam, it led to imbalance. However, locals allege that many boats do not have sufficient number of life jackets and carry more passengers than their sanctioned capacity.

Survivors said they boarded the private boat as the boats of the Tourism Department were not available.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Deputy Chief Minister N China Rajappa, leader of opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and others expressed grief over the tragedy.

Director general of police N Sambasiva Rao, Krishna district collector Lakshmi Kantham and the other senior officials of the district administration are personally supervising the rescue operations.

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