Kerala boat tragedy toll climbs to 37

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Thekkady, (Kerala) Oct 1 (ANI): Rescuers on Thursday fished out five more bodies from the Thekkady Lake, taking the death toll from Wednesday's boat tragedy to 37.

The tragedy occurred when the state-run double decker boat Jalakanyaka carrying 74 tourists tilted after several tourists moved to one side on sighting elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on the banks of the lake on Wednesday evening.

According to Kerala Government sources, a team of experienced divers extricated 36 bodies from the partly submerged boat.

The toll is likely to go up as some more people are yet to be traced, sources added.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Acchuthanandan has ordered for a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Acchuthanandan informed reporters that a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court would conduct the probe.

He announced a compensation of Rs five lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and said state authorities will ensure that bodies were handover quickly back to the families of the victims.

Among the deceased identified so far were nine each from Tamil Nadu and Delhi, six from West Bengal, four from Andhra Pradesh, three from Karnataka, one from Punjab, officials said. (ANI)

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