Visakhapatnam, May 25 (PTI): Four migrant workers and two of their children were killed when the country boats they were travelling in in the Sileru river capsized in the wee hours of Tuesday on the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border.
Two more people were also feared drowned in the mishap, but their bodies were yet to be recovered, while three others swam to safety, according to police sources.
Rescue teams halted the search operation late on Tuesday as night fell.
The recovered bodies were shifted to the government hospital in Chitrakonda in Odisha for post-mortem.
Malkangiri District Collector Y Vijay visited the accident spot and supervised the search operation and later the shifting of bodies.
In all, 11 people set sail in two country boats to their native Konduguda village in Malkangiri district of Odisha after midnight on Monday.
Initially, one of the boats capsized in the river near Silerugunta close to the Odisha border and its passengers started drowning.
Others in the second boat tried to rescue their fellow passengers, but in the process their boat too lost balance and capsized in the river.
Three of those who managed to swim to safety alerted the local officials about the mishap and rescue teams from the AP State Disaster and Fire Services Department were sent to the spot for the search operation.
While the body of the two-year-old child was retrieved from the river in the morning, two more were fished out in the afternoon and three others late in the evening.
Among those killed were two children aged two and four years, police said.
The victims, all tribals, were migrant workers who were returning to their village Konduguda in Odisha from Hyderabad.
The workers reached Sileru checkpost late on Monday night but, fearing they might be stopped by the AP police in view of the ongoing Covid curfew, took country boats after midnight for their onward journey to their native village.
In all, some 35 people started off in five country boats in the Sileru river.
Some of them safely reached their destination, but ill fate struck the others. PTI DBV APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR