Around 20 passengers have been rescued so far by personnel of Coast Guard, Navy and Marine police with the assistance of local fishermen, they said.

Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, coordinating the rescue operations, told reporters that three passengers have lost their lives in the accident. Intense rescue operations are underway and the exact number of passengers on board the ill-fated passenger boat was yet to be ascertained, police cited. The passenger vessel was on its way from Vypin to Fort Kochi when it collided with the country fishing boat at the harbour mouth at around 1.45 pm.

The rescued passengers have been taken to various hospitals, police said. A Navy spokesman said a Naval divers team and Chetak helicopter have been pressed into the rescue operations.

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