Toll in Tamil Nadu boat accident rises to 15 (Second Lead)

December 25th, 2011 - 11:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 25 (IANS) The death toll in Sunday’s boat accident in Pulicat Lake in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvallur district has gone up to 15, police said.

A boat, carrying 25 passengers capsized in Pulicat Lake. Three children have been rescued, while 15 bodies have been recovered and a search is on for the remaining seven passengers.

According to initial information, a group of people from Chennai and Gummudipoondi near here, most of them relatives, had come to enjoy the Christmas holidays and gone on a boat ride in the afternoon.

The fibre boat, used for fishing, appears to have capsized at the mouth of the lake, where it meets the sea.

According to fishermen at the site, the boat might have overturned due to a sudden big wave.

Fishermen, fire service personnel and police were involved in the search operations.

The accident spot can be reached only be a boat and bad light is hampering the rescue work, officials said.

Police said villages along the coast have been alerted to be on the lookout for any body washed ashore.

Relatives of the victims have gathered near Pulicat Lake.

Pulicat is the second largest brackish water lake in India, located on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border, some 60 km from here.

Meanwhile Governor K. Rosaiah and Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa expressed their shock and grief at the tragedy.

In his condolence message, Rosaiah said he was “deeply shocked and grieved to hear about the tragic accident”.

“I convey my deep felt condolences to the bereaved members of the family and pray to God to rest their soul in peace.”

Expressing her grief, Jayalalithaa said that she has asked Diary Development Minister V. Murthy and Environmental Minister B.V. Ramana to supervise the seach/rescue operations and also console the relatives of the victims there.

She said a solatium of Rs.100,000 to the families of the dead has been ordered.

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