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Sunday July 14, 2024

Boat capsizing in Kerala, India claims 21 lives

The Indian Prime Minister tweets his anguish over the loss of lives in the boat mishap

By Web Desk
May 08, 2023
Boat capsizing in Kerala, India claims 21 lives. —Twitter
Boat capsizing in Kerala, India claims 21 lives. —Twitter

Tragedy struck on Sunday in India's Kerala state as a boat capsized in the Malappuram district, resulting in the devastating loss of life for a minimum of 21 individuals, as reported by V. Abdurahiman, the state's minister for fisheries and harbour development.

The privately operated boat violated regulations by venturing into the waters after dusk without proper permission. However, despite the restrictions, the operators decided to continue their services due to the high influx of visitors on Sunday evening. It was during the boat's final trip of the day that the tragic incident occurred, with approximately 35-40 passengers on board.

Survivor accounts revealed that the boat capsized around 400 meters from the beach near the estuary of the Poorapuzha River. Shockingly, safety jackets were not provided to the passengers, and rescue efforts were hampered by the absence of nearby boats.

As news of the accident spread, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep sorrow in a tweet, stating, "Pained by the loss of lives due to the boat mishap in Malappuram, Kerala."

Local residents and fishermen immediately sprang into action, engaging in the initial stages of the rescue operation. Eventually, the district administration, supported by the police, health department, and fire and rescue departments, took over the rescue efforts.

However, rescue operations faced numerous challenges, including inadequate lighting and narrow roads, which hindered the timely transfer of the rescued individuals to nearby hospitals. To assist in the rescue efforts, a team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Thrissur was dispatched to Malappuram.

The tragic incident prompted the state government to declare an official day of mourning, cancelling all official events for the day. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also visited the affected area to assess the situation and ensure effective coordination of the rescue operations.

KPA Majeed, a legislator from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), expressed their prior concerns about the lack of safety measures to the authorities.

Amidst this heart-wrenching incident, the focus remains on rescuing any remaining individuals trapped inside the sunken boat and providing support to the affected families. The government's efforts, backed by local communities, are aimed at preventing further loss of life and ensuring that such accidents are avoided in the future.