NEW DELHI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- At least 23 people were reportedly missing after a boat carrying them capsized Tuesday in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, officials said.
The boat capsized in Godavari River near Devipatnam in East Godavari district, about 2200 km northeast of Amaravathi, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh.
"This evening, a boat ferrying people capsized in Godavari River near Devipatnam here. We are being told there were 40 people onboard at the time of the mishap. Around 17 people have been saved (as some swam to shore at their own and others were rescued). But we are told that 23 people are still missing," a local government official told Xinhua. "We are trying to get the details from the survivors."
Following the accident, local authorities sent police and rescue teams to the spot to carry out rescue work.
"The rescue work is in process and going on in full swing," the official said.
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu said he has ordered the district administration to speed up rescue efforts.
"The incident is highly painful. Officers have been ordered to carry out relief operations on the war footing," said a statement issued by Naidu.
Officials said several teams of India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams were deployed to carry out search and rescue operations.
The capsizing is said to have taken place due to bad weather conditions.