22 killed as houseboat capsizes in Kerala

Tourist boat capsizes in Kerala, at least 22 dead

Kerala: Twenty-two people, including women and children, were killed when a houseboat with more than 30 passengers on board capsized and sank near the Thoovaltheeram beach in the Tanur area of Kerala’s Malappuram district on Sunday.

Kerala sports minister V Abdurahiman said 20 deaths were confirmed on the basis of information from various hospitals where those pulled out from the water and inside the boat were admitted.

Four people in critical condition have been admitted to a Kottakkal hospital, Abdurahiman said.

He said many of those who died were women and children who had come for a ride amid the ongoing school vacations.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has condoled the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of each victim.

P K Kunhalikutty, a legislator of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), told reporters from a government hospital near Tanur that overcrowding is believed to have been the reason behind the vessel capsizing.

Boats are not supposed to go out for rides after 6 pm but it is believed that the rule was violated in this case, he added.

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