Ace swimmers to trace the missing persons had been pressed into service, he said.
Naidu also asserted that the boat was inspected by officials before it took off. "When the boat is nearly 10 minutes away to the banks, heavy rain and wind occurred, boat lost balance and slid one side". That caused the mishap.
As the boat got stuck in the sand of the riverbed at least 40 feet below the surface and with all its doors and windows closed, extricating the bodies trapped inside is proving cumbersome, a senior official involved in the rescue operation said.
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The AP Government has announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 Lakhs to the family of the deceased in the Godavari River boat capsize incident. He said the government would provide jobs to one member each from the families of the victims and would also make arrangements for free education for their children.
Naidu blamed the private boat operator for the tragedy, saying the ferry was packed with men, cement bags and motorbikes.
The passengers of the boat belonged to Kondamodalu, Kachluru and Talluru villages. According to the latest report, till now, 10 people have been rescued, with teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) being deployed at the site of the mishap.
Earlier, the boat was located after an aerial survey by Naval helicopters, carrying expert divers, from the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. They could initially pull out only two bodies after breaking open the glass windows. He spoke to the District Collector and other officials over phone.