Ninety missing at sea in the wake of cyclone Tauktae

Strong sea waves near the Gateway of India ahead of Cyclone Tauktae's landfall in Mumbai on May 17. (PTI Photo)
Strong sea waves near the Gateway of India ahead of Cyclone Tauktae's landfall in Mumbai on May 17. (PTI Photo)
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Daily US Times: More than 90 people are missing after a barge, owned by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), off the coast of India’s Mumbai city sank amid Cyclone Tauktae.

The Indian Navy said in a statement that it had rescued 177 of the 270 people aboard and that efforts to find survivors were ongoing.

Three other commercial barges carrying about 700 people onboard are stranded at sea in the wake of cyclone Tauktae, which has battered the country’s western coast.

The cyclone weakened after it made landfall on Monday but at least twelve people have already died in the storm.

The stricken barge was carrying personnel deployed for offshore drilling. When the storm struck, the barge’s anchors gave way and it began drifting.

A spokesman for the Indian Navy said that it had dispatched three warships to save those aboard the three stranded commercial barges.

Two of the barges are off the coast of Indian city of Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state, while the third is off the coast of Gujarat.

ONGC said in a statement that it had also deployed boats to rescue its personnel.

One of the troubled barges, reportedly carrying cargo, had anchored and was about 14 kilometers from Mumbai’s coast when it went adrift on Monday. Indian Navy said the barge had since run aground in a rocky patch of the sea. Everyone on board is reported to be safe.

The third barge, about 92 kilometers from the Gujarat coast, is attached to an oil rig. There are reportedly 196 people on that barge and another 100 reportedly stuck on the rig.

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