Narendra Modi tweeted, "Anguished by the capsizing of a boat in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district". Additional diving teams had also been sent by two helicopters to join the rescue operations, Eastern Naval Command, which is leading the rescue efforts, said.
Besides the Navy, personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, fire service, revenue and police departments are involved in the search and rescue operations.
Today, divers were able to rescue some of the bodies after the motor launch was found struck in the sand at a depth of 60 feet near Varapalli tribal village. "Our party followers too should support the people when such incidents take place" said Pawan Kalyan.
He said a total of 44 people were on the launch and half of them swam to safety.
Of the 40 people who were reportedly onboard, only 17 had been rescued till the latest reports came in.
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The incident occurred near Manturu in Devipatnam block of East Godavari district around 5 pm.
Describing the deaths as nothing but government killings, Pawan said it was unfortunate that the government was least bothered about lack of permissions and checking fitness of the boats to operate in the river. Driver Khaza Mohiddeen was trying to reach banks at Vadapalli to deport two passengers.
"Boats are running just for profits and there is no one concerned about the lives of the people".
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa on Tuesday spoke to East Godavari district officials over the phone and enquired about the incident. Condolences to the bereaved families.
Boat operator Khaja surrendered before police in Devipatnam.