New Delhi: At least 22 people, mostly children, were killed when a houseboat carrying around 30 passengers capsized near Tanur in Kerala’s Malappuram district on Sunday evening, police said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

PM Modi has also tweeted about this incident and wrote, “Pained by the loss of lives due to the boat mishap in Malappuram, Kerala. Condolences to the bereaved families. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be provided to the next of kin of each deceased.”

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan issued a statement condoling the deaths and directed the Malappuram district collector to conduct coordinated emergency rescue operations. Officials from fire and police units, revenue and health departments and locals from Tanur and Tirur areas of the district are engaged in the rescue operation, the statement said. It also said ministers Abdurrahiman and Riyas would coordinate the rescue operation.

Kerala Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyas also expressed grief over the incident. After getting information about the incident, he said that the people who have died in this accident include especially children.

According to the information received, the incident took place when the children were riding a houseboat during school holidays. Many children are still reported missing, a special operation is also being conducted to search for them.

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