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Boat mishap – search operations called off

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Vijayawada

After 48 hours of the boat that overturned in which 21 persons were killed even as the body of a seven year old was retrieved on Tuesday, the teams of the NDRF, and the SDRF had called off the search operations according to police.

At around 12.30pm today, the body of the seven year old Popuri Ashwika, a native of Nellore was traced. Her mother P.Haritha and grandmother P.Lalithamma also lost lives in the accident. Minister for Tourism Bhuma Akhila Priya who was overseeing the search operations as well past midnight directed the authorities concerned to make arrangements to shift the body to Nellore.

In all bodies of 20 tourists who were in the ill-fated boat had been retrieved while one died while undergoing treatment. Twenty others were rescued while the whereabouts of the three crew members were not known. NDRF officials said all the bodies had been retrieved.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested Sesham Kondala Rao, one of the partners of the firm River Boating and Adventures that illegally ran the boat service. Kondala Rao who went into hiding after the incident, surfaced in a TV interview and later surrendered himself before the police. He said that the had no role in the operations of the firm and his friends had used his name for registration. Kondala Rao runs an electrical and electronics store in the city. Another partner V.Vijaya Saradhi is in police custody while three others including a Tourism department boat driver are absconding.

Mystery prevails over whereabouts of the boat crew::

The whereabouts of the crew of the boat remained a mystery even after two days of the accident. The police suspect that the trio might have survived and gone into hiding. Boat driver Suribabu, assistant driver Bairava Swami and helper Rama Rao are also facing charges of negligence in the accident. It may be recalled that ‘Boat accident is the result of greed and irresponsibility’, says CM.



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