At least 22 people have lost their lives by drowning after a houseboat reportedly carrying around 40 passengers capsized in the Tanur area of Kerala's Malappuram on Sunday evening. More people are feared to be trapped under the boat as rescue operations are currently underway.
A case has been registered against the boat owner, P Nasar who absconded after the incident. Republic has accessed the shocking details of the boat which caused the incident. The passengers who boarded the boat were not wearing life jackets and no safety measures were taken. The boat didn't have the required license to operate as a Fishing boat and was transformed into a tourist boat just a month ago.
Last night, the furious locals burnt the wooden bridge that led the way to the boat jetty made for tourists as a sign of protest.
Amid the row, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will visit the accident spot later in the day to take stock of the situation. He also condoled the loss of lives in the Malappuram boat capsize incident and ordered the effective coordination of rescue operations. Kerala Revenue Minister K Rajan and Forests & Wildlife Minister AK Saseendran are already present at the accident site.
In a bid to expedite the relief and rescue operations, Indian Navy's Southern naval command squad and Chetak Helicopter have been called and are currently assisting in the operations. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been deployed since last night.
#WATCH | Malappuram boat accident: Indian Navy's Chetak helicopter called in to assist in the search and rescue operation.#KeralaBoatTragedy pic.twitter.com/42s8b7hPsO— ANI (@ANI) May 8, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.
Pained by the loss of lives due to the boat mishap in Malappuram, Kerala. Condolences to the bereaved families. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be provided to the next of kin of each deceased: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 7, 2023