Vijayawada: Rescue operations continue on Wednesday in the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh where over 30 people are feared drowned after a launch capsized last evening.

Personnel from the Indian Navy traced the launch which is said to be at a depth of 60 feet. Rescue workers were trying to break open the windows to pull out the bodies, an official said.

The teams from the Navy, state disaster management department and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel were engaged in the rescue operations. They were mobilising heavy cranes near the shores to retrieve the launch that capsized on Tuesday.

The rescue work, which was halted late on Tuesday due to bad weather, resumed early on Wednesday. A helicopter was also pressed into service as part of the rescue work.

The incident occurred near Manturu in Devipatnam block of East Godavari district around 5 p.m. There were about 50 people on the boat when it capsized and 10 of them including two women swam to safety.

The boat, which sailed from Kondamodalu, was on its way Rajamahendravaram. It is believed to have capsized due to gusty winds. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed the officials to undertake rescue operations on a war footing.

The incident came close on the heels of a boat with over 100 tourists catching fire in the Godavari River in the same district on May 11. The passengers had a narrow escape as the driver wheeled the boat to the shore and they jumped off before the entire boat was completely destroyed.

IANS