Thekkady tragedy: Boat was not `water worthy`
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 21:06
Thiruvananthapuram: The Thekkady mishap in which 45 tourists died could have been averted had the boat, which had "serious structural defects", been tested for its "water worthiness", a forensic probe has revealed.

The boat was unstable, not water worthy and had a rightward inclination besides the fibre used was of poor quality, said the report of K Mohanan, joint director of Kerala Police Academy's forensic department.

If the vessel's water worthiness was examined before it was cleared for the cruise in the Thekkady lake in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, such a tragedy could have been avoided, the report, submitted to IGP R Sreelekha today, said.

An experts' team led by Dr Parelal, head of the department of shipping technology of Cochin University, would visit Thekkady tomorrow for further inquiries.

Four persons, including steersman Victor Samuel and Chief Inspector of Boats M Mathews, had been arrested in connection with the September 30 incident.

All those who drowned were tourists from different states including Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) chairman Cherian Philip said employees would not be made scapegoats in the wake of allegations that authorities were trying to put the blame on the steersman and two crew members for the tragedy.

The steersman and two crew were suspended based on the investigating agency's preliminary report that they were partially responsible for allowing eight people to travel without ticket, he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 21:06

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