66 dead, 20 missing; Navy deploys diving teams to look for bodies

With no hint of 9 personnel from barge P305 and 11 from tugboat Varaprada six days after Cyclone Tauktae fury rendered the vessels adrift, the Navy on Saturday undertook an underwater search for the wreckage of the 2 vessels. The demise toll on P305 rose to 66 with the restoration of six extra bodies in the course of the day, a Navy spokesperson mentioned. The Navy additionally deployed specialised diving teams to increase the search and rescue operations (SAR) for the barge and the tugboat off the Mumbai coast.

“So far, 66 mortal remains have been recovered. The SAR ops are continuing through the night. Underwater search for wrecks of barge P305 and tug Varapada using specialised teams and equipment is in progress,” the official mentioned in a press release. “To augment the ongoing SAR ops for the missing crew of Barge P305 and Tug Varaprada, specialised diving teams onboard INS Makar with side-scan sonar and INS Tarasa sailed out early morning today from Mumbai,” the spokesperson tweeted. The Navy and the Coast Guard continued the search for the 9 lacking personnel from the barge and 11 from Varaprada whilst hopes of discovering extra survivors of the Cyclone Tauktae fury receded, an official mentioned.

Of the 261 personnel who have been on barge P305, 186 have been recovered to this point, 66 are lifeless and 9 are lacking. Of the 13 individuals on Varaprada, two have been rescued. While all of the 440 individuals on barges Gal Constructor and Support Station 3 (SS-3) and drillship Sagar Bhushan have been introduced ashore to security, Naval and Coast Guard vessels and plane scoured the waters off the Mumbai coast because the search and rescue operations entered the sixth day on Saturday. Struggling to set up the identification of virtually half the victims of the P305 barge tragedy, police have initiated the method of conducting the DNA testing of the bodies, an official mentioned on Saturday.

(*66*)A Mumbai police spokesperson mentioned the Navy has handed over the bodies recovered to this point to the town police. Barge P-305, which housed personnel engaged in upkeep work of an offshore oil drilling platform of state-run oil and gasoline main ONGC, sank on Monday night off the Mumbai coast in the course of the cyclone. The barge had gone adrift within the cyclone fury earlier than sinking. Some bodies are decomposed, some others have deep accidents and subsequently they’re past recognition, the official mentioned. Blood samples of the deceased and their speedy kinfolk are being collected and despatched to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Kalina in Mumbai, he mentioned.

“After the samples are matched, the bodies will be handed over to the respective family members,” he mentioned, including that the DNA sampling course of is predicted to be accomplished within the subsequent three days. RT-PCR checks to verify whether or not the victims had COVID-19 an infection have been additionally carried out, he mentioned. Mumbai police have additionally introduced they may conduct a probe as to why the ill-fated barge remained within the turbulent space regardless of warnings about cyclone Tauktae, an official mentioned. The police have additionally registered unintended demise reviews in reference to the demise of the personnel on the barge.

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