Thekkady boat driver says officials were told of boat conditionOctober 22nd, 2009 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 22 (IANS) The driver of the boat that capsized at Thekkady in Kerala last month killing 45 tourists said Thursday he had informed state tourism department officials a few times about the condition of the boat.
The driver, Victor Samuel, told reporters in Kochi: “When I pointed it out to the officials, they said the boat has been cleared on safety aspects and I need not look into it. I am not at all responsible for this (accident), and now the officials are trying to fix me and put the entire blame on my head.”
Meanwhile, the police team is to question the managing director of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and other officials.
Angry supporters of the Youth Congress Thursday barged into the office of the KTDC demanding the resignation of chairman Cheriyan Phillip.
The Crime Branch, which is investigating the Thekkady boat tragedy at the Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary, has submitted its report highlighting the lapses of the KTDC.
According to sources, the police probe has found serious lapses on the part of the KTDC, which owns the boat that was pressed into service a month before the tragedy took place Sep 30.
Earlier this week, the Kerala High Court said the Kerala government as well as the KTDC are responsible for the boat tragedy because they did not act on earlier recommendations.
Justice K.T. Sankaran made this observation while granting bail to five of the six people arrested by the Crime Branch. He added that KTDC had failed to comply with the rules and regulations, which they should have adhered to.
Those who got bail include K.K. Sanjeev, the surveyor, N.A. Giri, the official of the Chennai-based firm that manufactured the boat, the driver of the boat, his assistant and a forest guard.
Chief Boat Inspector M. Mathews secured bail Wednesday.
- Judicial panel starts hearings in Kerala boat tragedy - Dec 20, 2010
- Kerala tourism authority blamed for 2009 boat tragedy - Aug 25, 2011
- Government also blamed for Kerala boat tragedy (Lead) - Oct 20, 2009
- A year after Thekkady boat tragedy, no probe, no case - Sep 30, 2010
- Boat tragedy: Kerala government, tourism agency also responsible - Oct 20, 2009
- Two more held for Thekkady boat tragedy - Oct 15, 2009
- Singer Yesudas to help Thekkady boat driver - Oct 08, 2009
- Teenager's body found from Thekkady lake, toll 45 - Oct 04, 2009
- Three more bodies recovered from Thekkady lake, toll 44 (Lead) - Oct 03, 2009
- Sabarimala stampede - another tragedy reduced to a probe? - Jan 17, 2011
- Bodies of girl, mother found in Thekkady lake, toll 43 - Oct 03, 2009
- Thekkady official, forest guard arrested over boat tragedy - Oct 08, 2009
- Thekkady boat had serious defects: Experts - Oct 28, 2009
- Thekkady boat was overcrowded, had inherent problems: Police - Oct 04, 2009
- Boat tragedy: Kerala admits lapses, lifejackets to be mandatory - Oct 01, 2009
Tags: boat driver, crime branch, department officials, forest guard, giri, kerala government, kerala high court, kochi, ktdc, lapses, mathews, police probe, police team, safety aspects, sankaran, state tourism department, surveyor, tourism development corporation, wild life sanctuary, youth congress