Tourists escape unhurt as houseboat catches fire

Sixteen people, including 13 tourists and three crew, had a miraculous escape on Thursday after a houseboat they were cruising caught fire near Pathiramanal Island in Vembanad Lake.

The Muhamma police said the passengers and the crew escaped unhurt.

Six women, two babies, a four-year-old boy, and four men from Kannur set off from Kumarakom in a double-decker houseboat around 11.30 a.m. When the boat reached Pathiramanal, a blaze started in the kitchen and soon spread to other parts of the boat.

Officials said the boat caught fire in an area with sandbars.

“The passengers and the crew jumped onto a sandbar where water level was 5 ft. This helped them save their lives,” said an official.