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Eight people were feared drowned and many others injured after a passenger boat, which was on its way to Vypin from Fort Kochi in Kerala, overturned on Wednesday.

The incident took place around 1.40 pm after the Vypin-Fort Kochi ferry hit a fishing boat near Kamalakkadavu, reports said. According to some reports, there were more than 30 people on the ferry at the time of mishap.

Local television channels said that 20 passengers who suffered injuries in the collision were taken to nearby hospitals.

Police and fire department personnel have launched a search operation for the missing passengers. Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has sought the Indian Navy's assistance in the rescue operation.

Live Updates

7: 00 pm: The fishing boat driver has been arrested.

6: 00 pm: 24 passengers are admitted to nearby hospitals and the condition of 4 of them is said to be critical.

5:30 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that Kerala government will pay the hospital expenses of the victims. The family members of the deceased will get compensation soon.

5: 15 pm: The passenger boat was 35 years old.

4: 01 pm: Doctors confirm chemical pneumonia, caused after salt water is mixed with diesel as the death of some.

4: 00 pm: 8 are confirmed dead by Manorama News. 

3:45 pm: "More than 40 passengers were there in the boat. Fishing boat was hitting the passenger boat directly, which split into two. There wasn't any life jackets inside the boat," one of the passenger Ralph Clement told Asianet News.

3.40 pm: Three passengers, who are confirmed dead include Zainaba from Vypin Azheekan area, Volga from Fort Kochi and Sudheer from Mattancherry.

3.36 pm: 4 women, 2 men and 2 kids among the dead.

3.35 pm: Death toll has reportedly become 8.

3.31 pm: Local residents say officials were not active in rescue operationsa after the boat was split into two.

3.30 pm: Local channels report the death of 5 passengers.

3.23 pm: 22 are admitted to Boat Jetty Taluk hospital.

3.20 pm: 28 passengers have been reportedly rescued.