Cargo ship sinks off Bengal coast
In the wake of Cyclone Phailin striking the Odisha coast, a Panama registered cargo ship with mainly Chinese crew members sank off the West Bengal coast at Sagar in the Bay of Bengal in eastern India and though everyone on the vessel set sail in lifeboat they remained missing till Sunday morning, said officials.
The ship registered in Panama and identified as MV Bingo was carrying 8000 tonnes of iron ore with 18 crew members of which 17 were Chinese and one was Indonesian.
"It has by all chances sunk since it cannot be seen. The crew members had all safely sailed in a life boat but they are yet to be traced. We searched till 8 pm in the night and again began a search in the morning. Till 4 o'clock there were radio communications and so they are likely to be alive and found by evening," said I Jeyakumar, deputy chairman, Kolkata Port Trust.
He said the ship was to go towards east but then it moved in another director and anchored at the Sand Head. The reason for the sinking of the ship could be tilting of the vessel owing to the movement of the iron ores in one side, he said.
Cyclone Phailin made a landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha coast on Saturday evening around 9 pm and later the storm weakened and moved to the central part of Odisha on Sunday after it ripped through the two coastal states- the other being Andhra Pradesh- though the latter has not reported any human casualty.
However, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said there could be flood like situation in Bihar owing to heavy rainfall in next 48 hours in the state. Jharkhand will also receive heavy rain. West Bengal would receive heavy rain too.
The landfall of the severe cyclone occurred at around 9 pm at 200 kmph at Gopalpur in Odisha where several deaths occurred from falling trees but no casualty was reported yet following the landfall.
The storm triggered one of the biggest evacuations in India as about 8 lakh people were moved to safety in the two states.
Strong winds and heavy rains were reported from both the coastal states owing to the cyclone.
(Posted on 13-10-2013)