'One-way ticket to death worth Rs 100': Tanur boat tragedy exasperates locals

Anand P

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Thooval Theeram-Makeshift dock where the boat laid its anchor put on fire by protestors | Photo: Anand P

Tanur: Locals here have come up with allegations against the double-decker boat ‘Atlantic’ that resulted in the death of 22 individuals.

According to the locals, there were a lot of people visiting the site for boat services at Thooval Theeram beach due to the holiday season

From morning 10 am to 6 pm, the boat conducted service for Rs 100 per person. It is said that the boat originally was a vessel designed for fishing. However, it was used as a recreational boat, locals claimed. They noted that it had DJ facilities, LED lighting and other features, but lacked any safety measures including lifejackets.

Makeshift dock where the boat laid its anchor gutted by protestors | Photo: Anand P

According to them, the operators did not have prior experience in conducting passenger boat services. Despite repeated warnings, and protests by locals, the boat continue to conduct services. They also alleged that the boat owner had support from the local administration and police officials.

On Sunday, the boat operators reportedly let more than the permissible number of people on the boat. It is also learned that the boat neither has an office building nor a facility for basic amenities from the area where the boat commenced the journey.

Following the mishap, the makeshift dock where the boat laid its anchor was put on fire by protestors.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the accident has risen to 22. Eight people were rescued after the boat capsized on Sunday evening and are undergoing treatment at various hospitals, district officials said. The boat, which was carrying more than 30 people, capsized near an estuary around 7:30 pm. Search operation for the missing persons is still underway, the officials added.

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