Port Blair: A boat carrying tourists capsized near Port Blair in Andaman on Sunday resulting in the death of 21 people.
According to reports, 43 people were onboard boat Aqua Marine when the incident took place.
The boat capsized between Ross Island and North Bay at 4:00 PM.
P Jawahar, Deputy Commissioner, Nicobar, said that 13 people have been rescued so far. Those rescued have been taken to GB Pant hospital. Civil administration and defence establishments like the Coast Guard conducted operations to rescue remaining passengers.
"Around 21 people have been declared dead. Thirteen people have been rescued so far and the remaining are missing. An magisterial enquiry has been ordered into the incident. Lt Governor is reviewing the situation," the police officer said.
One group from Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu and another from Mumbai were present in the ill-fated vessel, she said.
The reasons for capsize were being investigated.
The government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 Lakh to the victims.
The details of how the incident took place appear sketchy. Denis Giles, Editor, Andaman Chronicle, said: "The boat was returning from Viper island when a blast was heard. This was heard by some fisherman. Soon after that they passed on the information. The fisherman immediately went for the rescue." He said that there was a delay of two hours by marine rescue teams to reach the spot.
Police have released helpline numbers. The toll-free helpline numbers are: 03192240137, 230178, 238881.
Helpline at GB Pant hospital: 03192230629, 09933274092, 102