26 die in Arabian Sea, 49 missing

Centre orders probe
Representational Image [Source:  Comfreak from Pixabay]
Representational Image [Source: Comfreak from Pixabay]

In a gruesome tragedy, at least 26 persons on board the drifting Barge Papaa-305 met a watery end in the stormy Arabian Sea in the aftermath of the Cyclone Tauktae while another 49 are still missing, as the Centre ordered a probe into the incident, officials said here on Wednesday.

Their bodies have been brought to Mumbai by Indian Navy ships which had gone on dare-devil rescue missions since the past 48 hours.

The Union Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas late this evening ordered setting up a high-level committee to probe the sequence of events leading to the stranding of ONGC vessels in the Cyclone Tauktae, etc.

The Western Naval Command confirmed the deaths of the 26 persons even as efforts are underway to trace another 49 who are untraceable missing in the still choppy seas near the Bombay High Fields, around 175 kms off Mumbai.

INS Kochi has brought the bodies to the Mumbai harbour, along with many of the others rescued.

A total of 261 persons were on board Pappa-305, an accommodation barge.

Rescue operations are still continuing in the Arabian Sea as the weather conditions improved since this morning.

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