Death toll in Kerala houseboat tragedy reaches 22, rescue op ongoing
At least 22 people, including seven children, were killed Sunday evening when a double-decker boat capsized near a beach in Kerala’s Mallapuram district, the state government said. The incident took place near Tuvalthiram beach around 7 pm, although the police say the exact cause of the accident is yet to be confirmed.
Moreover, while the total number of passengers on the vessel is still unknown, 40 had come on tickets while many others were without one.
The boat allegedly did not even carry a safety certificate. According to the police, a case has been registered against the boat’s owner for culpable homicide.
A rescue operation is still on, with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) engaged in the work. Underwater cameras are being used to search for those still missing. Police, fire, and health officials, apart from locals from the Tanur area of the district, were also engaged.
Leaders across the political spectrum took to Twitter to express their shock over the accident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund) to the families of each victim.
Pained by the loss of lives due to the boat mishap in Malappuram, Kerala. Condolences to the bereaved families. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be provided to the next of kin of each deceased: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 7, 2023
Meanwhile, leader of the opposition party, the Indian National Congress, and former Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter, expressing his condolences to the bereaved families and wishing for the speedy recovery of those injured. He called on Congress workers to help the authorities with the rescue work.
Distraught by the news of a houseboat capsizing in Malappuram, Kerala.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 7, 2023
My heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones, and wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.
I appeal to Congress workers to assist the authorities in rescue operations.
Announcing Monday as a day of mourning with all government events postponed, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he will visit the site on Monday and ordered the Malappuram district collector to immediately pave the way for an emergency rescue operation.