Thursday, October 1, 2009

Toll mounts to 39 in Kerala boat accident

Thekkady (Kerala):

Rescuers on Thursday fished out more bodies from the Thekkady Lake, taking the toll in the boat tragedy to 39 even as the Kerala government ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

The tragedy occurred when the state-run double decker boat 'Jalakanyaka' carrying 74 tourists tilted after several tourists moved to one side on sighting elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on the banks of the lake on Wednesday.

A team of rescuers which included divers extricated 39 bodies from the partly submerged boat, officials said.

The toll is likely to go up as some more people are yet to be traced, they said, adding, the search operation continued in the morning hours.

A judicial enquiry would be held into the mishap, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan announced.

The service of a Kerala High Court sitting judge would be sought for the probe, Achuthanandan told reporters here.

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