Death toll rises to 19 from capsize of crowded Indian ferry
HYDERABAD, India (AP) — The death toll from the capsizing of an overcrowded ferry on India’s Krishna River has risen to 19, with others still missing, police said Monday.
Ramesh Bapu, a senior police officer, said 21 people swam to safety or were rescued by villagers after the accident Sunday in Krishna district.
He said more than 40 passengers and crew were on the boat, which was supposed to hold a maximum of 30 people. Officials said the ferry capsized while turning toward the river bank.
Bapu said none of the passengers was wearing a lifejacket.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the tragedy “anguishing.”
“My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives,” he said in a statement.
Police and workers from the National Disaster Relief Force were searching for the missing.
The state government ordered an inquiry into the accident, which occurred about 275 kilometers (170 miles) southeast of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state in India’s south.
Such accidents are common in India, where many ferries are poorly built and often overcrowded, and there is little regard for safety regulations such as providing lifejackets.
Boats are often the main mode of transport in remote areas.