Driver, assistant arrested in Thekkady boat tragedy | india | Hindustan Times
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Driver, assistant arrested in Thekkady boat tragedy

india Updated: Oct 05, 2009 10:29 IST

The driver of the boat that capsized last week in the lake in Kerala killing 45 people has been arrested along with his assistant, police said on Monday.

Victor Samuel,38, and his 24-year-old assistant Anish were arrested late on Sunday, four days after the boat capsized in the Thekkady lake in the Periyar wildlife sanctuary on Wednesday evening.

"Now we will take them to the accident site. They have been charged with culpable homicide and would be produced before a court here," Superintendent of Police PA Valsan, who is heading the investigation, told IANS.

The preliminary findings suggest the boat had a seating capacity of 75, but there were 12 extra people. Furthermore, the boat had inherent problems.

The double-decker boat, owned by the state-run Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) was pressed into service last month.

Samuel and Anish are both contract employees of the KTDC.

"While Samuel had the necessary license, his deputy did not have one. In the coming days, scientific tests would be done by boat experts and then the report would be submitted to the government," said Valsan.

The state's tourism, forest and irrigation ministers will meet Monday to discuss the safety and security measures to be adopted in tourist destinations.

The state government has announced it will initiate a judicial probe into the incident.