Andhra Pradesh boat capsize: At least 12 dead and several missing

media captionAndhra Pradesh: At least 12 dead in boat capsize

At least 12 people have died and more than 20 are missing after a tourist boat capsized in the Godavari river in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The boat was carrying around 70 people and was on its way to a popular tourist spot in the southern state on Sunday when it collided with a large rock, police told the PTI news agency.

Officials confirmed to BBC Telugu that 27 people have been safely evacuated.

Rescue authorities are searching for bodies in the river.

Survivors have spoken of their shock and grief.

One woman, Madhavilatha, survived the accident but her husband and child did not.

"I should have died without my baby," she told BBC Telugu in tears, "I have lost both my husband and child."

The state's chief minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, has directed officials to suspend all boating services in the region immediately.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences to the victims.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Authorities told BBC Telugu that the the collision occurred in a "remote forest area" with inadequate communication facilities, making it a vulnerable area.

The tourism minister confirmed that the tourist boat had been operating without a licence.

Boats in India are often overloaded, and lax safety standards mean accidents are common.

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