Tanur tragedy one of the worst in history: Major boat accidents in Kerala

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Rescue operation during Thekkady boat tragedy | Mathrubhumi file photo

Kerala has witnessed several deadly boat accidents in the past.

On January 24, 1924, a boat carrying 151 passengers, including poet Kumaran Asan, capsized at Pallana river, resulting in the death of 23 people.

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On February 20, 2007, one of the three boats carrying tourists visiting the Thattekad bird sanctuary met with an accident, resulting in the death of 18 people. The boat was carrying 37 people, including school children, and was overloaded.

Following the incident, a report submitted by Justice MM Pareed Pillay suggested comprehensive legislation regarding inland transportation and made around 86 suggestions, including making swimming an extra curricular subject.

On July 27, 2002 , a heavily loaded A53 boat of the Kerala Water Transport department, which left from Muhamma in Alappuzha, capsized in the Vembanad Lake near Kumarakom. 29 died. The deceased included 15 women and a nine-month-old baby, besides several job aspirants who were on their way to Kottayam to appear for a PSC exam.

Two years later, on September 30, 2009, a boat named Jalakanyaka sank in the Manikkavala area of Thekkady lake in Idukki, resulting in the death of 45 people, including 7 children and 23 women. The cause of the accident was found to be the unscientific construction of the boat, overload, and the lack of life jackets. The investigating team found 22 lapses, but no government action was taken.

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