The Mumbai Police in a Saturday updated that as many as 66 bodies have so far been recovered from the Arabian Sea days after the Barge P305 sank off the Mumbai coast during Cyclone Tauktae, news agency ANI reported.

Search and rescue operations continue. Underwater search for wreckage of Barge P305 and Tug Varaprada using specialized teams & equipment in progress, the police said.

On Saturday morning, in a statement, police said several bodies were quite decomposed and were difficult to identify. It arranged for DNA sampling of the relatives to match with the bodies.

Mumbai Police has also sent a request to the Forensic Laboratory for 40 DNA sampling kits for this purpose.

Indian Navy on Saturday informed that the Search and Rescue Operations for the crew of Barge P305 and Tug Varapradha will be augmented by specialised diving teams onboard INS Makar (with sonar) and INS Tarasa. The crew were affected as the cyclonic storm ‘Tauktae’ brushed past the western coast on Monday, due to which the barge sank.

On Friday Mumbai Police booked the captain of the barge P305, Rakesh Ballav, along with others, on the basis of a complaint by rescued barge engineer Mustafizur Rehman Shaikh.

Allegedly, the captain of the barge did not make any arrangements for the safety of the staff on board, due to which the barge sank in the cyclone storm and many lost their lives.

Cyclone Tauktae has impacted the weather conditions in several parts of Northern India.

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