Zee Media Bureau
Port Blair: In an unfortunate incident at least 21 people have been killed after a tourist boat carrying 45 people, most of them tourists, capsized in the Bay of Bengal near Port Blair in Andaman on Sunday evening.
According to reports, 13 people have been rescued by the rescue team while the rest are still reported missing.
Tourists from Kanchi Puram district of Tamil Nadu and Mumbai were also on board when the boat named `Aqua Marine` capsized on its way between Ross Island and North Bay at 4:00 PM today, reports said.
Meanwhile, P Jawahar, Deputy Commissioner, Nicobar has informed that rescue operations are currently being conducted and all injured persons have been shifted to GB Pant hospital.
"Around 21 people have been declared dead. Thirteen people have been rescued so far and the remaining are missing. Lt Governor is reviewing the situation," he added.
A magisterial enquiry has also being ordered by AK Singh, Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Meanwhile, police have issued helpline numbers - GB Pant hospital - 03192-230629, 09933274092, 102
Toll-free helpline numbers - 03192-240137,230178,238881.
An ex-gratia of Rs 1 Lakh to the victims has been announced by the government, officials said.
Civil administration and defence establishments like the Coast Guard conducted operations to rescue remaining passengers, the sources said.
It was suspected that some persons might have been trapped in the cabin of the Aqua Marine.
As per some eyewitness, an explosion was heard just before the boat capsized.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock over the boat tragedy and condoled the loss of lives.
Singh asked all central agencies to immediately assist in the rescue and relief operations, a PMO statement said, PTI reported.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa also expressed grief over the incident and instructed the officials to take necessary action for providing relief to the survivors.