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23 missing as boat capsizes in Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh

23 missing as boat capsizes in Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh

The district authorities reached the accident site along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to conduct rescue operations.

Divers from Indian Navy from Visakhapatnam joined efforts by East Godavari district officials on Wednesday morning to trace several people who were missing after a motor launch capsized in river Godavari last evening. However, at least 23 people continue to be missing even as the rescue and relief operations are underway. Due to sudden gales and whirl wind pools the boat lost balance and tilted one side and capsized.

The boat is said to be owned by Laxmi Venkateshwara boat services and the owner Khaja Mohinuddeen has surrendered before the police, according to the report. The passengers had a narrow escape as the driver wheeled the boat to the shore and they jumped off before the entire boat was completely gutted.

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The incident occurred near Manturu in Devipatnam block of East Godavari district around 5 p.m. The rescue operation is on in the river in pitch-dark condition.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa took stock of the situation. "I pray for the safety of those missing", the Prime Minister said.