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No life jackets on India tragedy boat: Minister

Published on Jan 27, 2014 4:12 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An overcrowded boat which capsized off India's Andaman Islands with the deaths of 21 people was not carrying life jackets and rescuers did not arrive for two hours, officials and survivors said on Monday.

A total of 29 people were plucked from the waters off the coast of the remote archipelago on Sunday afternoon and nine of them are now in hospital, according to the islands' Information Secretary Rakesh Bali.

"Initial reports suggest that overcrowding caused the incident," Mr Bali told AFP by phone from the Andamans, saying a more detailed investigation was under way.

He said all the victims were Indian tourists, most of them from the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu on the mainland.

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