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Tourist boat capsizes in southern India, at least 20 dead


According to local media, a double-decker boat carrying more than 30 passengers capsized off a beach in southern India on Sunday evening and more than 20 people, including children, died.

NEW DELHI — A double-decker boat carrying more than 30 passengers capsized off a southern Indian beach on Sunday evening, and more than 20 people, including children, died, local media reported.

“The boat is being brought ashore and other bodies are expected to be recovered from inside,” Sports Minister V Abdurahiman told the Press Trust of India news agency, adding that four people in critical condition were admitted to hospital.

Among the dead were children who had come for a ride on the boat during their school holidays, the minister said.

It is unclear what caused the tourist boat to overturn near Thoovaltheeram beach in Tanur, a coastal town in Malappuram district of Kerala state.

The state chief minister, who will visit the area on Monday, tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims and urged district authorities to oversee the rescue.

Monday has been declared an official day of mourning, PTI reported, citing a government statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “pained by the loss of human life” and announced in a tweet compensation for the families of the victims.

Shipping accidents are common in India, where many ships are overcrowded and have inadequate safety equipment.

In September 2020, 12 people drowned when a tourist boat capsized on the swollen Godavari River in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. In May 2018, 30 people died when a boat capsized in the same area.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.