The Malabar Hill police have started probing the death of three crew members who died after inhaling toxic gas in the engine room of Orion II barge, anchored alongside Singaporean bulk carrier MV Thor Endeavor, to unload 250 tonnes of wheat on Friday.
Commenting on the issue, additional commissioner of police Pratap Dighavkar said, “We have been taking expert opinion on whether it was an accident or an act of negligence, resulting in gas leak.”
An accidental death report (ADR) has been registered, and the owner and the master of the vessel have been summoned for questioning.
“We will record statement of all the people concerned and conduct a thorough inquiry,” said deputy commissioner of police (Zone 2) Dyaneshwar Chavan.
In addition, officials from Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) would be inspecting the vessel and submit a detailed report, said an Indian Coast Guard (ICG) official. The official added that the incident occurred around 10.40pm on Friday following which the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC), Mumbai, was informed.
“We received information that there were nine persons on the barge and due to some gas leakage in the engine room, five members fell unconscious. After the crew members failed to respond, Coast Guard Ship C-154 was immediately prepared for emergency sailing and reached the Orion II at 12.20am,” said an ICG official.
Crew members Mangesh Bhosle, 27, Jayanta Chaudary, 23, and Kritik Son Koch, 27, were declared dead, while Ganesh Bitaa, 40, and Daud Ibrahim Kurey, 50, the captain, were rushed to the Bombay hospital. Bitaa and Kurey are still undergoing treatment, and on of them is in the ICU. The bodies of Bhosle, Chaudhary and Koch were handed over to their respective families following post-mortem.