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Andaman boat tragedy: Eyewitnesses say rescue teams reached late

Jan 27, 2014 08:31 AM IST India India

New Delhi: A tourist boat capsized near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Sunday evening in which 21 people lost their lives. Of the 21 casualties, 16 bodies have been identified.

The tourist boat identified as Aqua Marine capsized between Ross Island and North bay, about 2 kilometre off the coast of Andaman. 29 survivors have been rescued while one person is reportedly still missing.

Those rescued have been admitted to the GB Pant hospital. Eyewitnesses say the rescue teams reached the site 2 hours after the boat sank.

The reasons for capsize were being investigated. 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.

The government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 Lakh to the victims.

Police have released helpline numbers. The toll-free helpline numbers are: 03192240137, 230178, 238881.

Helpline at GB Pant hospital: 03192230629, 09933274092, 102

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