New Delhi: The local authorities in Gujarat’s Valsad found six bodies believd to have been drowned in the tugboat tragedy at the Arabian Sea. Among them were the bodies of tugboat (Varaprada) captain identified as Nagendra Kumar while five other bodies were also been fished out but their identities are yet to be ascertained.
Since Saturday evening, bodies were recovered from two different places in south Gujarat, Valsad Superintendent of Police Rajdeepsinh Jhala said.
Speaking to PTI, Jhala said the bodies seemed to be of members of the Barge P305 that had sunk off the Mumbai coast. He said out of the four bodies found on Saturday, one was identified as that of the captain of tugboat ”Varaprada” that sank last Monday.
Two more bodies were found on the shore of Gujarat’s Valsad district on Sunday and they are suspected to be of the missing victims of the barge P305 and a tugboat that sank in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae, a police official said. “We are trying to identify the other five bodies,” he said.
Barge P-305, which housed personnel engaged in maintenance work of an offshore oil drilling platform of the state-run oil and gas major ONGC, sank on Monday evening off the Mumbai coast. It was caught in high velocity winds and swelling sea caused by the ‘extremely severe cyclone’ which brushed the Mumbai coast on its way to Gujarat.
The Barge P-305 hit an unmanned platform of ONGC resulting in water ingress and eventually capsized at around 1700 hrs on May 17.
There were 261 persons onboard Afcons’ Barge P-305, while 186 were rescued, 66 bodies have so far been recorded and nine are still missing.