Kakinada: As search operations continued in the Godavari, 19 more bodies of tourists who were on the boat were recovered from the river taking the toll to 27. Three of them have still not been identified.
The bodies were washed ashore at different points along the Godavari. Some bodies were found at the cofferdam of the Polavaram project site and others at the Dowlaiswaram barrage.
Tourism minister M. Srinivasa Rao said there were 73 passengers and crew when the boat capsized, of whom 26 had been rescued. With 27 bodies having been found, the search is on for another 20 persons. He said the bodies of a few of the missing passengers may be still in the sunken boat.
The Navy and ONGC personnel were joined in the search by an expert team from Uttarakhand which was involved in the rescue operation after a Maoist attack at Balimela reservoir which killed 38 Greyhound troops in 2008.
All of them are trying to retrieve the capsized tour boat ‘Royal Vashishta’ which is resting nearly 300 feet under water. Collector Muralidhar Reddy said the boat had been located but officials could not get a clear picture from the solar scanners as the floodwater was muddy. He said an expert team would come from Mumbai to try and pull the boat to the surface.
Officials were working through the night to salvage bodies of victims.
AP Director General of Police, Damodar Gowtham Sawang, ministers K. Kannababu and M. Srinivasa Rao of AP and Mr. Errabieli Dayakar Rao of the TRS closely monitored the operations. Mr Sawang said that the search was being intensified further....