28 dead as boat capsizes off Andaman

January 27, 2014 - 12:48:54 am
NEW DELHI: At least 28 people died after a boat carrying tourists capsized yesterday near India’s remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, according to officials and local media reports. The boat was carrying 43 people when it capsized between Ross Island and North Bay near Port Blair, the capital of the islands, the Indian government said in a statement.

Some 13 people have so far been pulled from the water and a search and rescue operation was underway, the island’s Lieutenant Governor A K Singh told NDTV.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock over the tragedy and “condoled the loss of lives,” he said in a statement, without confirming the number of people killed.

The prime minister said he has asked all agencies to help in the rescue and relief operation.

The Andaman and Nicobar islands are Indian territory, though they are at least 1,000km from the mainland and are closer to the coast of Myanmar.

The Andaman and Nicobar, comprising some 572 islands, are flanked by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa expressed deep sorrow at the death of at least 28 people in a boat capsize near Andaman islands, and ordered officials to take necessary action for providing relief to the survivors.

Jayalalithaa said senior state government officials have been ordered to reach Port Blair, the Andamans capital, immediately to take action to provide medical relief to those who have been rescued. The accident took place near the Bay Island and the tourist boat belonged to a private party, the statement said.

She said that out of the total 45 passengers, 33 were from Kanchipuram district, around 70 km from here. Jayalalithaa said majority of the dead were from Kanchipuram. Orders have been issued to bring the bodies here at the government’s cost. She also ordered the release of `100,000 as solatium for the families of each of the dead.Agencies