Eighteen bodies recovered so far from Chitrakonda reservoir

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 4 (UNI) With the recovery of eight bodies today, altogether 18 bodies had been recovered so far from the ill-fated boat, which capsized in the Chitrakonda reservoir while ferrying 66 personnel, including Greyhound jawans of Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday.

Malkangiri Superintendent of Police S K Gajibhi said 20 bodies were still untraced even six days after the Naxalites attacked boat.

Authorities today used the balloon lifting and steel wire lifting technology to retrieve the boat, submerged 43 mt below water but it failed.

The SP said the authorities had decided to press a Mig 27 aircraft on Sunday to lift the boat.

This apart, a ballon from Singapore would be hired to retrieve the boat, he added.

The rescue, search and combing operation launched jointly by the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa police since Sunday last and assisted by the Navy and ONGC divers recovered eight bodies today.

Earlier, the team had retrieved ten bodies from the reservoir.

The Greyhound jawans were returning after a combing operation in the cut-off areas on the Orissa-Andhra border when the Naxalites hiding on a hill-top near Alampeka attacked the force with grenades and fired indiscriminately from the LMGs.

The boat could not sustain the heavy exchange of fire and capsized in the reservoir.

Out of the 66 on board 28 had returned and 18 were confirmed dead and the rest were still missing.

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