Boat capsizes killing more than 32
In a boat capsize incident today in Mullaperiyar dam reservoir in Idukki district, Kerala, India more than 32 people, mostly women were killed. The mishap happened when the boat carrying 82 people on board capsized 7 kms off the jetty. The boat had sixty passengers from adjoining state of Karnataka as well as five foreign tourists. The double-decker boat was operated by the state owned Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).
Search and rescue operation was underway but fading light and distance from the landing area was hampering the operation. The spot where the boat capsized is about 100-ft deep and the final toll of casualties may be higher. The site where the boat capsized was one of the deepest zones of the reservoir called Thekkady. The initial reports indicate that the boat capsized when a large group of the passengers on the upper deck moved to one side to see some wild animals spotted on the banks.
The Indian Navy has pressed into service its trained divers to locate any survivors and bodies. Inclement weather earlier hampered search operation when Navy tried using a chopper to scan the area for survivors. Twenty people were rescued earlier by boats from KTDC, Forest Department and Tamil Nadu Public Works Department. The rescue team had also recovered 26 bodies till 8 PM IST form the reservoir.