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Fort Kochi boat tragedy toll touches eight

With the recovery of two more bodies today, the death toll in Fort Kochi's boat tragedy rose to eight, police said.



Kochi: With the recovery of two more bodies today, the death toll in Fort Kochi's boat tragedy rose to eight, police said.

The fate of two other missing people is still unknown in what could be the coastal city's worst boat tragedy in recent years.

Authorities said the chances of finding anyone still alive were "slim". Intense search operation is still continuing to find out the two more missing passengers -- a woman and a man.

Navy, Coast Guard and Marine police personnel, who restarted search operations this morning, have found body of a man floating in the backwaters in the Island area of the city in the afternoon.

He has been identified as Vijayan who was missing after yesterday's tragedy, police said.

The body of an 18-year-old girl, Sujisha, was found in the Chellanam harbour this morning.

The exact number of passengers on board the boat at the time of the mishap was yet to be ascertained. Police, however, said preliminary investigation indicates that there were about 35 people in the boat, said to be over three-decades old, which capsized and sank after being allegedly hit by a speeding fishing craft in the harbour mouth off Fort Kochi yesterday.

About 25 passengers were rescued from the sinking boat yesterday. Nineteen passengers have been admitted to various hospitals in the city.

Four passengers who are seriously injured in the accident have been admitted in a private hospital here, police said.

Meanwhile, Kerala government has sanctioned an ex-gratia of five lakh rupees to the families of those killed in the boat tragedy.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the severely injured would be given a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. The government will take care of the medical expenses of the injured passengers.

The passenger vessel was on its way from Vypin to Fort Kochi when it was hit by the fishing craft at the harbour mouth at about 1.40 pm yesterday.

From Zee News

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