Thekkady: Boat Capsize Death Toll Climbing, Kerala Govt Orders Judicial Probe

The Kerala government on Thursday ordered a judicial probe into the Thekkady lake boat capsize incident even as rescue workers extricated yet another body taking the death toll in the incident to 36.

In what is being described as the worst ever tourism-related tragedy in the state, ‘Jalakanya’ — a twin deck boat owned by the state tourism corporation – capsized with 74 tourists on board.

The accident occurred when several of the tourists on board the vessel moved to one side of the deck to sight an animal at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which stands along the periphery of the Thekkady lake.

The toll is likely to go up as some more people are yet to be traced, they said, adding, the search operation continued in the morning hours.

Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs five lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and said state authorities will ensure that bodies were transported quickly back to the families of the victims, reported PTI News Agency.

Those identified to have been killed in the mishap, include nine each from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, six from West Bengal, four from Andhra Pradesh, three from Karnataka and one from Punjab, officials said.

Though website administrators are flooded with requests for more specific information regarding those killed in the accident, officials, however, are yet to release the details.

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