Surging river water, coupled with rain and strong winds, hampered operations to trace seven people, most of them teenagers, who have gone missing after a boat capsized in the Gautami river in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, officials said on Sunday.
As many as 20 teams of rescue personnel, including Navy divers, have fanned out in the river from the accident spot at Pasuvullanka up to Yanam coast, both upstream and downstream, and are continuing the search.
“Our operations are hampered by strong winds and rain. Besides, water level in the river has also risen by three feet due to heavy discharge of water from the Godavari. Still, we are carrying out the search,” National Disaster Response Force Deputy Commander Madhusudan Reddy said.
A Navy helicopter has been positioned at Rajamahendravaram for the search operation and it will be deployed once the weather clears, the State Disaster Management Authority said.
The SDMA informed in a communique here that six girls and a woman were missing after the boat capsized on Saturday.
They have been identified as Kondepudi Ramya (13), Polisetti Veera Manisha (15), Sunkara Sreeman (15), Tirukoti Priya (13), Polisetti Anusha (14), Polisetti Suchitra (12) and Galla Nagamani (35).
32 passengers were travelling in the boat that was on its way from Saladivari Palem to Pasuvullanka when it capsized after colliding with a pier of an under-construction bridge.
25 passengers were rescued.
Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa is camping at Yanam and monitoring the search-and-rescue operation.
The Gautami river is a tributary of the Godavari.