AP: Death toll has risen to 22 in the boat mishap at Pavitra Sangamam in Ibrahimpatnam Mandal of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh on Sunday evening.
A seven-year-old girl body was recovered and the child’s mother P Harita (28) and grandmother Lalitha has died in the ghastly mishap.
The boat with around 38 persons was heading to the Pavitra Sangamam Ferry ghat near Ibrahimpatnam.
Fifteen persons were rescued by local fishermen. As the boat overturned, the tourists were trapped underneath. Five bodies were later recovered from under the boat. The deceased included six women and four children.
The tourists on the boat were heading to witness the grand maha haarathi ritual at the Pavitra Sangamam on the last Sunday of the auspicious month of Karthika.
Most of the passengers were said to be members of the Ongole Walkers Club in Prakasam district while some were from Nellore who were on a visit to Vijayawada.
An eyewitness said as the boat came close to the Pavitra Sangamam, all the tourists rushed to one side, causing the vessel to tilt and capsize.
Home Minister Chinarajappa, who visited the accident site, announced an ex gratia of ₹5 lakh to each of the family of the dead.
Tourism Secretary Mukesh Kumar Meena said the boat belonged to a private company, River Boat Adventures, which had permission to operate only two small boats — a 2-seater and a 4-seater. He said the Tourism Department would file a criminal case of homicide against the operator.