West Bengal: Sailors of sunk ship rescued

Kolkata, Oct 14 : All the 18 crew members, including 17 Chinese, of a Panama registered ship that sank off the West Bengal coast near Sagar in the Bay of Bengal on Saturday in the wake of Cyclone Phailin were rescued on Monday morning from Chandipore under Odisha by the West Bengal Coastal Police and Coast Guard, said officials.

"They are all alive and being treated. They were rescued from an island under Balasore in Odisha where they had taken refuge leaving the lifeboat. They will be brought to Haldia (port town in West Bengal) for formal inquiry," said I Jeyakumar, deputy chairman, Kolkata Port Trust.

In the wake of Cyclone Phailin striking the Odisha coast, cargo ship MV Bingo with mainly Chinese crew members sank at Sagar in the Bay of Bengal and while everyone on the vessel had set sail in lifeboat they remained missing for two nights.

Their location was found on Sunday afternoon and finally they were found in an island off Chandipore sea coast.

The ship registered in Panama was carrying 8000 tonnes of iron ore with 18 crew members of which 17 were Chinese and one was Indonesian.

Officials said the China bound 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.

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.

The storm triggered one of the biggest evacuations in India as about 8 lakh people were moved to safety in the two states.

Reports said since massive evacuations were undertaken the human casualty was only 23 under the impact of the cyclone with many of them dying from falling trees.

--IBNS (Posted on 15-10-2013)

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