23 missing as boat carrying around 40 people capsizes in Godavari river

AP CM directs officials to send rescue teams to accident site

AP CM directs officials to send rescue teams to accident site

Meanwhile, officials claimed that all the tribals jumped out of the sinking boat and swam ashore.

They were headed to the scenic Papikondalu, or "Papi Hills" in the West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the loss of lives in a boat tragedy in Andhra Pradesh and prayed for the safe return of those missing.

Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam said, "A Dornier aircraft with diving teams sent to Rajahmundry (where boat capsized in East Godavari), additional diving teams are being sent by 2 helicopters early Wednesday morning to join rescue operations".

Last year, a boat accident in Vijayawada on the Krishna river claimed as many as 21 lives.

"We are not sure what caused the launch to capsize". Driver Khaza Mohiddeen was trying to reach banks at Vadapalli to deport two passengers.

The boat was reportedly blown over by heavy gales at around 5pm local time (12.30pm BST). It is like water auto rickshaw: it carries passengers and goods at nominal rates, " an official from R Chodavaram Police Station said.