Kolkata, Oct 13 IBNS | 12 months ago

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 while everyone on the vessel set sail in lifeboat they remained missing all night only to be located on Sunday afternoon, said officials.


However, while the Coast Guard vessel is heading to rescue the crew members, it was yet to be done till evening and it will depend on local weather conditions, 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.

"The lifeboat has been located at 70 nautical miles on the Bay of Bengal from Haldia at around 2-45 pm. The Coast Guard vessel is heading towards the point but rescue depends on local conditions," said I Jeyakumar, deputy chairman, Kolkata Port Trust.

"The ship has by all chances sunk since it cannot be seen. The crew members had all safely sailed in life boat but they were not traced till today afternoon. We hope they all survived," said Jeyakumar.

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)