Cyclone Tauktae: 2 more bodies found on Valsad coast in Guj

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Valsad, May 23 (PTI) Two more bodies were found on the shore of Gujarat's Valsad district on Sunday and they are suspected to be of the missing victims of the barge P305 and a tugboat that sank in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae, a police official said.

With this, six bodies have so far been recovered from two places here in south Gujarat since Saturday evening, Valsad Superintendent of Police Rajdeepsinh Jhala said.

On Saturday, four bodies were washed ashore- three on the Tithal beach and one on a beach in Dungri village here.

Two more bodies were found at the Tithal beach on Sunday morning. The police have recovered their identity cards and some documents and further investigation is underway, the official said.

'From their uniform and life jackets, it appears they are the missing victims of the barge or the tugboat that sank off the Mumbai coast during cyclone Tauktae,' Jhala said.

He said out of the four bodies found on Saturday, one was identified as that of the captain of tugboat 'Varaprada' that sank last Monday.

'We are trying to identify the other five bodies,' he said.

Barge P-305, which housed personnel engaged in maintenance work of an offshore oil drilling platform of the state-run oil and gas major ONGC, sank on Monday evening off the Mumbai coast after it went adrift due to the high-speed winds and huge tidal waves caused by the extremely severe cyclone which brushed the Mumbai coast on its way to Gujarat.

Apart from the nine missing personnel of the barge P305, the Navy and the Coast Guard are also searching for 11 missing persons from the tugboat Varaprada.

Of the 13 people on Varaprada, two have been rescued, officials earlier said. PTI COR KA GK GK