Overcrowding led to tragedy, say brothers after narrow escape

Tanur boat accident witnesses
Ibrahim and Izahak said they decided not to take the joy ride seeing the rush. Photo: Screengrab/Manorama News

Malappuram: Ibrahim and Izahak, brothers from Kondotty, who escaped one of Kerala's worst boat tragedies after they cancelled their trip at the last minute, claimed overcrowding led to the accident.

They said they decided not to take the joy ride after seeing the rush. The siblings alleged that the boat operators let a large number of passengers on board without considering the boat's capacity. 

“The boat was overcrowded when it embarked on the trip on Sunday around 6.30 pm. It was filled with the maximum number of people as it was the last trip for the day. Usually, tourists are not allowed to take a boat ride after 6.30 pm. But on Sunday, the ride was after sunset,”  one of the brothers told Manorama News.

They noted that no life jackets were provided to the passengers. 

Meanwhile, police said that overcrowding as well as operating the boat without safety measures led to the tragedy.

The boat named Atlantic capsized around 7 pm on Sunday at Ottumburam's Thoovaltheeram here. Locals including fishermen rushed to the spot to rescue the passengers. But the operation proved to be a tough task due to low light. Around eight people were rescued initially. The death toll touched 22 on Monday morning after more bodies were recovered from the river.

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