22 killed as boat capsizes

Chennai: 22 persons died today after the boat in which they went on a pleasure trip capsized in Pulicat Lake, about 60 km from here. The boat capsized after being caught in the waves in the lake, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said. The victims from Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district were on a pleasure trip in the boat belonging to a private company, she said.

The boat had been operating in an area banned for boating, police said. Three teenagers were rescued by local fishermen. Fire and Rescue service personnel and local fishermen carried out search operations in the area using floodlights and 13 bodies have been fished out. Condoling the deaths, Jayalalithaa announced a relief of Rs one lakh for the families of the deceased.

She deputed ministers V Moorthy and B V Ramana to oversee search operations. Governor K Rosaiah also expressed shock over the incident. “I am deeply shocked and grieved to hear about the tragic accident in which 22 persons lost their lives when their boat capsized in the Pulicat Lake. I convey my deep felt condolences to the bereaved members of the family,” he said.