Divers search for 10 missing people as 27 drown in India

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Emergency workers were searching for the bodies of at least 10 people in India on Saturday (April 29) who went missing in two separate drowning incidents that left 27 others dead, police said.

The bodies of two children were among the missing after a dinghy capsized late on Friday in a small village lake in southern Andhra Pradesh state, leaving 13 people dead.

Six among the dead were children, police said.

Police said the boat sank due to overcrowding when 17 passengers hired the dinghy for a joy ride after attending a function in the Anantapur district.

More than 10 bodies were fished out from the lake, state health Minister Kamineni Srinivas told reporters.

Two girls were rescued by locals, police said.

While in eastern India's West Bengal state, scores of divers and speed boats were trying to find the bodies of eight people in Hoogly river after dozens of passengers were swept away following the collapse of a jetty on Wednesday.

Eleven bodies were retrieved from the river on Friday as anxious relatives and villagers continued to gather at the banks of the river. Three bodies were found on Wednesday.

The bamboo jetty was used by hundreds of passengers daily to take boats to the other side of the river.

"We hope to find the bodies soon," Udip Das, a police officer overlooking the operation told AFP.

Four operators of the boat service and the jetty have been arrested on charges of criminally negligent manslaughter, he said.

Most Indians lack swimming skills despite half of the country being situated on the coastline and hundreds of lakes and rivers criss-crossing the country.

Over the years the country has reported one of the highest drowning deaths rates in the world, with nearly 30,000 people drowning in 2014, according to the latest official figures.

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