Home India News Kerala boat tragedy toll touches 37

Kerala boat tragedy toll touches 37


Thekkady (Kerala) : The toll in the Thekkady boat tragedy touched 37 as five more bodies were recovered Thursday morning, officials said.

The tragedy occurred Wednesday at 5.15 p.m. when the boat carrying 76 tourists capsized in a lake in the Periyar wildlife sanctuary in central Kerala.

A 24 member diving team of the Indian Navy reached the accident site Thursday morning and were searching for more bodies.

P.T. Thomas, Congress Lok Sabha member representing the area, said the exact number of people who have died is yet to be ascertained as some foreign tourists reportedly swam to safety.

“Those rescued are being treated at various hospitals and since the search is going on, we will have to wait,” said Thomas.

Meanwhile Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters at his residence in state capital Thiruvananthapuram that the state government would bear all expenses for transporting the dead bodies as well as the expenses incurred by the rescued tourists.

“We have decided to hold a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court. We have also decided to sanction an ex-gratia of Rs.5 lakh each to the families of the deceased,” said Achuthanandan.

Achuthanandan will arrive in Thiruvalla — where the bodies of the victims are being brought for embalming — to pay his respects. The bodies will then be sent home. The state government has booked air tickets from Kochi to send the survivors as well as the bodies home.