In a tragic incident, at least twenty-two people lost their lives on Monday when a tourist boat capsized in Kerala’s Malappuram district.
The incident occurred when the boat carrying over thirty passengers, including children and women, was sailing in the Pookkottur backwaters.
According to the news agency PTI, five people managed to swim to the shore, while ten others were admitted to Kottakkal Hospital in critical condition.
The Malappuram collector VR Premkumar confirmed that most of the deceased were children and women.
The authorities have launched a rescue operation, with divers and local fishermen joining in to search for survivors. However, with many passengers trapped in the overturned boat, the rescue efforts were hampered by the strong currents.
The cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained, but initial reports suggest that the boat was overcrowded, and the passengers were not wearing life jackets.
The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed his condolences over the tragedy and announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs to the families of the deceased.
He also directed the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. The incident has once again highlighted the need for stricter safety measures for tourist boats and vessels.
With the summer vacation in full swing, Kerala witnesses a significant influx of tourists, and ensuring their safety should be a top priority for the authorities.