For the first time we visited Devipatnam when a member of our family died in the boat accident occurred at Kachuluru village on September 15 last. We waited for seven days on the banks of the Godavari River for the body and later went to Rajamahendravaram Government Hospital. We could not recover from the tragedy even today, recalled the kin of a victim.
A couple, who came to Gopalapuram in West Godavari district, boarded the boat to visit Papikondalu. They went missing after the boat accident. My father went to Papikondalu on Royal Vasista Punnami boat. He left Rajamahendravaram in a vehicle to board the boat in West Godavari district, and waved to me. In the afternoon, I heard the sad news and my fathers phone got switched off, said Chinni of Kovvur.
Many families went to Rampachodavaram Area Hospital, Devipatnam police station, Kachuluru village and Rajamahendravaram to enquire about their dear ones after the mishap.
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the hospital mortuary and on the banks of the Godavari at Kachuluru and Devipatnam villages with the family members of the boat mishap victims wailing for their family members.
My sisters body was retrieved after ten days of the mishap. We made several rounds to the Help Desk put up at Rajamahendravaram Government Hospital, Rampachodavaram Area Hospital for the body, recalled a victims family member.
Family members of some of the victims identified the bodies with the help of garments they wore and a few families underwent DNA tests to claim the bodies.
We retrieved eight bodies trapped in the AC cabin in the ill-fated boat on October 22, 2019 (38 days after the mishap). The bodies were in highly decomposed condition, recalled Rampachodavaram Additional Superintendent of Police Vakul Jindal.