Indian authorities were engaged in a major search and rescue operation yesterday to find 39 people missing after their tour boat capsized in a fast-flowing swollen river.
Police told AFP that eight bodies have been recovered, down from a previous tally of 12, after the accident on the Godavari river in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.
The boat was carrying a total of 73 passengers, of whom 26 have been rescued, local police official Adnan Asmi said.
Almost 300 personnel using boats and a helicopter were engaged in the search operation yesterday including from the Indian Navy and the National Disaster Response Force.
Media reports said that a special diver team equipped with sonar equipment was expected to reach the spot later in the day from the northern state of Uttarakhand.
The vessel was heading to a popular picnic spot when it capsized. Local media reports said the Godavari river has been in spate for a week.
A report in the Times of India quoted a senior Andhra Pradesh minister as saying that the vessel had no licence or permission to carry tourists while the river was swollen.