Captain of sunken barge P-305 still remains untraced

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Mumbai, Jun 1 (PTI) The captain of the sunken barge P-305 still remains untraced, a fortnight after the tragedy that unfolded off the Mumbai coast during cyclone Tauktae, an official said on Tuesday.

Captain Rakesh Ballav of the barge P-305 is missing since his ill-fated boat sank in the Arabian Sea on May 16 when the powerful storm passed over the Mumbai coast, he said.

A total of 274 crew members were reported missing on May 17, which included 261 from the barge and 13 from tug Varprada.

At least 188 survivors were rescued by the Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard had found 70 bodies, while eight bodies each were recovered along the coast at adjoining Raigad district and Valsad in Gujarat following which all the missing persons were accounted for, the official had said.

The Mumbai police, which had collected the bodies from the Navy, have so far handed over 53 bodies to their relatives after post-mortem and identification, he said.

At least 26 bodies, which included 18 recovered from the spot where the barge sank, and eight that were found from the Raigad cost, still remain unidentified, the official said.

He said DNA testing is being done to identify these bodies.

As part of investigation into the Accidental Death Report case filed in connection with the tragedy, statements of officials of the company that owns the barge and survivors are being recorded by the police, the official said. PTI DC RSY RSY

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