Tourists among 21 drowned in India


At least 21 persons were killed after an overcrowded tourist boat capsized in the Andaman Sea in Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indian officials said on Monday.
Two passengers were missing and 23 persons were rescued. The boat sank on its way from Ross Island to the North Bay around 4pm, said P Johar, deputy commissioner of South Andaman district.
Indian officials in the district administration said the boat had a capacity to carry 25 people. It was carrying 46 people comprising tourists from Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu and Mumbai as well as crew members.
The civil administration and defence establishments like the Indian Coast Guard carried out the rescue operations on Sunday. Efforts were on to trace the whereabouts of the two missing, the sources said.
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed shock over the boat tragedy in the Andamans and has condoled the loss of lives,” a statement issued by the prime minister’s office said.
Boat capsize incidents take a big toll in India every year, raising questions over the security measures while bringing to fore non-compliance with guidelines.