80 tourists including a large number of women and children on a visit to the famous picturesque Papikonda Hills in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh had a miraculous escape when their motor launch suddenly caught fire on Friday.
According to information, the Tourism Department's launch belonging to private operators started from Pochammagudi with the tourists on board. As the launch was chugging in the river waters towards its destination, fire broke out suddenly in the engine room when the launch was nearing Veeravarapulanka.
As the thick black smoke started rising high into the air and spreading, the panic-stricken tourists began to scream for help. Locals who noticed that from the river banks jumped into the waters and swam towards the motorboat to rescue the passengers.
Soon, the police, on receipt of the information, also reached the spot, and supported the efforts of the locals.
Though there were no casualties, a few tourists fainted due to the smoke.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the fire was caused due to a short circuit in the diesel engine. Arrangements were made to rush a relief boat to shift the tourists stranded on the banks of the river at Veeravarapulanka.
filed in:Andhra Pradesh, Accidents, Fire Accidents, East Godavari, Godavari Boat Accident