Chennai, Jan 27 :
Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah Monday demanded “stern measures” to prevent a repeat of a boat disaster near the Andaman island that killed 21 people and has left one person missing.
In a brief condolence message, Rosaiah explicitly blamed the tourist operator and the boatmen for the tragedy whose victims were mainly from Tamil Nadu.
“The careless and negligent acts of some tourist operator and the boatmen led to the capsize of the boat snatching away valuable lives of many,” he said.
“I am sure stern measures will be taken to curtail such happenings in future,” he added.
Rosaiah’s comments came as nine of the 28 survivors still in hospital in the Andamans were reported to be in stable condition.
Speaking to IANS over phone, a district official said: “All the victims in the (G.B.Pant Hospital at Port Blair) are fine.”
Three of them, including a woman and a girl, were in the intensive care unit.
Sudhir Yadav, the union territory’s police chief, told IANS Sunday that 21 bodies had been recovered and one person was missing.
A total of 28 people have been saved, he said.
The accident took place Sunday between Ross Island and North Bay near Port Blair.
The tourist boat, Aqua Marine, is said to have carried around 50 people, much above its rated carrying capacity.
The official said arrests would be made after investigation.
According to other officials, a majority of the people on the boat were from Kanchipuram district, around 70 km from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa expressed “deep sorrow” over the deaths and ordered officials to provide relief to the survivors.
She said Tamil Nadu officials had been told to reach Port Blair to provide relief to those rescued. She said the bodies would be flown to Tamil Nadu at the government’s cost.
She ordered the release of Rs.100,000 to the families of each of the dead.