Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed shock over the boat tragedy that took place in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and asked all central agencies to assist in rescue operations.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed shock over the boat tragedy in the Andamans and has condoled the loss of lives," a PMO statement said.
At least 21 persons died when the tourist boat carrying them capsized in the Bay of Bengal, official sources said.
The boat 'Aqua Marine' with 45 tourists on-board capsized between Ross Island and North Bay near Port Blair in Andaman earlier in the day.
"The Prime Minister has asked all central agencies to immediately assist in the rescue and relief operations," the statement added.
The boat was carrying tourists from Kanchi Puram district of Tamil Nadu and Mumbai, besides crew members. The South Andaman district administration confirmed 21 deaths and said 13 people were rescued.
Civil administration and defence establishments like the Coast Guard conducted operations to rescue remaining passengers, the sources said.
It was suspected that some persons might have been trapped in the cabin of the boat.