127 people missing off western Indian coast after cyclone hits barge in Mumbai

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At least 127 people aboard a barge that first went adrift and subsequently sank at Mumbai high in western India were reported missing after Cyclone Tauktae hit that area, officials said on Tuesday.

A fisherman throws a fishing net towards the over-flooded sea water at Veraval, a city in Somenath district of India’s western state of Gujarat on May 17, 2021. (Xinhua/Stringer)

According to the officials, the search for the missing people was underway despite challenging conditions.

Reports said 273 people were onboard the P305 barge.

Mumbai high is an offshore oilfield 176 km off the west coast of Mumbai.

A brief statement posted on social media by the Indian navy spokesperson said “146 personnel rescued so far from Barge P305 which is sunk on site. Aerial search commenced at first light with Indian Navy P8I on task. Navy Helos standing by await improving of extreme weather conditions.”

The barge went adrift hours before a very severe cyclonic storm with winds gusting up to 185 km per hour made landfall on the coast of India’s western Gujarat state.

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