Kochi: With the recovery of two more bodies Friday, the death toll in Fort Kochi's boat tragedy rose to ten.
Navy, Coast Guard and Marine police personnel, who restarted search operations Thursday morning, found the bodies of Kumbalangi native Fausiya and Shiltan, a resident of Fort Kochi, near the Chinese fishing nets at Kamalakadavu.
The rescue team had found bodies two other persons on Thursday. While the body of Vijayan (60) was found floating in the backwaters in the Island area of the city in the afternoon, the body of 18-year-old girl Sujisha was found in the Chellanam harbour.
With the death toll touching ten, the mishap has become the coastal city's worst boat tragedy in recent years.
The exact number of passengers on board the boat at the time of the mishap was yet to be ascertained. Police, however, said preliminary investigation indicates that there were about 35 people in the boat, said to be over three-decades old, which capsized and sank after being allegedly hit by a speeding fishing craft in the harbour mouth off Fort Kochi Wednesday.
About 25 passengers were rescued from the sinking boat. Nineteen passengers have been admitted to various hospitals in the city.
Four passengers who are seriously injured in the accident have been admitted in a private hospital here, police said.
Meanwhile, Kerala government has sanctioned an ex-gratia of five lakh rupees to the families of those killed in the boat tragedy.
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the severely injured would be given a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. The government will take care of the medical expenses of the injured passengers.
The passenger vessel was on its way from Vypin to Fort Kochi when it was hit by the fishing craft at the harbour mouth at about 1.40 pm Wednesday.