Andhra Pradesh DGP Sambha Shiva Rao confirmed recovery of 16 bodies so far in the tragic incident.
The passengers were making a trip from Punnami Ghat in Bhavanipuram to Pavitra Sangamam in Ferry village when the vessel capsized, PTI quoted an official as saying.
While six picnickers died after falling into the Ganga river in Vaishali, three women drowned in the Baghmati River when a boat capsized in Samastipur district, the officials had said. All of them belonged to Ongole Walkers' Club. As many as 15 people were either rescued by local fishermen or swam to safety.
According to reports, the boat, which had 38 people on board, overturned when trying to manoeuvre towards Pavitra Sangamam after leaving the ferry.More news: Ryan School murder case: CBI questions Class XI student
Twenty of the roughly 35 people on the boat were rescued and the search operations were ongoing, India's National Disaster Response Force said on Twitter. Read Also: Karnataka: Seven held for trying to sacrifice boy Locals have alleged that numerous boats do not have sufficient number of life jackets and carry more passengers than their actual capacity. When the buoyancy of water changed at the Pavithra Sangamam, it led to imbalance. They inquired with the APTDC regarding the availability of a boat, but were told that the boat service had been stopped due to poor light in the evening.
The ill-fated boat was being operated by a private company and was said to be on a trial run.
Tourism Minister Akhila Priya ordered probe into the incident.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed his grief over the incident, and asked the District Collector and police authorities to take the necessary action. A helpline with toll free number 18004250101 was opened to help the relatives of the victims to get the information.