Seven killed in boat tragedy off Maharashtra coast

June 6th, 2008 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 5 (IANS) At least seven people were feared dead when the barge in which they were sailing sank off the coast of Maharashtra, police said Thursday. According to head constable S.D. Kuvkhar of Dapoli police station, the accident occurred off Harne port, around 250 km south of Mumbai, Wednesday evening.

One person, Nemchand Anantlal Turi, managed to swim ashore in the choppy seas early Thursday.

Turi told the police that the vessel, “Al Murtuza”, was carrying a cargo of sand from Chiplun to Mumbai’s Reti Bunder when the barge’s bottom suddenly gave away in the high seas.

The boat left Chiplun around 4 p.m. and the tragedy occurred at 7 p.m. when the sea was rough and conditions stormy.

The crew members missing are Teleshwar Mahatu, Anantlal Mahatu, Hiralal Mahatu, Raju Mahatu and Kaushal Kumar Thakur. The names of two others missing are not known, police said. All the men hail from Jharkhand.

Local villagers, coast guards and customs officials are engaged in locating the bodies of the victims.

Police have also informed the barge owner, Mohammed Shaikh Asif Ali, who lives in Mumbra town of Thane district.

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