At least 22 individuals, including children and women, lost their lives after a vessel capsized in southern Kerala, India, on Sunday, per reports from fire officials as the rescue and search missions enter a second day.
The vessel that was ferrying guests submerged near Tuvalthiram beach in Malappuram at about 7:30 p.m. (local time), the fire department in the district informed CNN.
Officials do not know how many individuals were on the vessel, but the estimated number is 35, it added.
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Speaking to reporters, V.R. Premkumar, a senior official from Malappuram district, where the incident took place, said that 10 people had been admitted to the hospital while five managed to swim ashore. This was the update as of Monday.
The Indian Navy has taken part in the search and rescue mission, relevant regional officials said on Monday.
India’s PM, Narendra Modi, extended his condolences to the loved ones of the deceased, declaring compensation from the PM National Relief Fund (PMNRF). On Monday, Kerala’s CM, Pinarayi Vijayan, is expected to pay a visit to the accident site.
Vijayan tweeted his condolences on Sunday. His tweet said that he was saddened by the tragic loss of lives.
At the time of the disaster, India was celebrating an extended weekend, with Buddha Purnima falling on 5 May this year.
Kerala, known for its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and serene backwaters, is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Indians and foreigners.
One of the top attractions of the state is its conventional wooden houseboats that ply the brackish lagoons as well as the canals that crisscross a large portion of the tropical coastline.
References: CNN, Hindustan Times