Kolkata, Oct 13 IANS | 11 months ago

A China-bound merchant vessel with 18 crew members which set sail from Haldia port in West Bengal has lost contact with the ground staff following the cyclonic storm Phailin which swept coastal Odisha Saturday night, the Coast Guard said Sunday.


"Search and rescue mission is on to track MV Bingo which had set sail for China with 18 crew members. The rough weather has been hampering the mission but we hope to locate the vessel soon," a Coast Guard spokesperson here said.

According to the official, the ship was last located 25 nautical miles south-southwest of Sagar Island, about 100 km from Kolkata.

Rescue aircraft have been pressed into service to locate the vessel.

Cyclonic storm Phailin Saturday night slammed India's east coast near Gopalpur in Odisha, triggering heavy rains and strong winds with speed reaching up to 200 km an hour.

More than 500,000 people were shifted to safety in coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

(Posted on 13-10-2013)