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Barge P-305 tragedy probe: Police summon 5 companies

The Yellow Gate police have issued summons to five companies in connection with the investigation into the Barge Pappa-305 (P305) tragedy
By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 27, 2021 12:36 AM IST

The Yellow Gate police have issued summons to five companies in connection with the investigation into the Barge Pappa-305 (P305) tragedy. The police, however, have not revealed the names of the companies, as the investigation is underway.

P305 is owned by Durmast Enterprises Limited, and chartered by a consortium led by Afcons Industries to carry out a project contract for the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). As Cyclone Tauktae hit the coast, accommodation barge P-305 sank in Heera Oil Fields in the Arabian Sea on May 17. Of the 261 people on board, the Indian Navy rescued 186 crew members, recovered 71 bodies and four are still missing. Of the 71 bodies, 13 are still to be identified. Six of them were identified on Wednesday.

The executives of the companies have been asked to visit the police station with relevant documents pertaining to ownership of the barge, agreement of subcontracting of work, compliance of safety norms, compliance of other marine laws, etc. Their statement would be recorded, said a police officer from Yellow Gate Police station. “Details about the ongoing investigation can’t be shared,” said Mumbai police spokesperson and deputy commissioner of police Chaitanya Siriprolu.

The police had earlier registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the master of P305, who is still missing. “It was the call of the master of the barge Pappa-305 to not to move to Mumbai Harbour or other safe region, despite prior warning of a storm. The master chose to just move 200m away from the platform where the barge was working, and to remain at that location, deciding this as a safe location. Unfortunately the weather conditions deteriorated and reached a level worse than predicted. The master didn’t get enough time for any further action to be taken,” Afcons Infrastructure Limited had stated earlier.

All 12 anchors of the barge gave away and it drifted. It collided with the unmanned ONGC platform. Most of the crew members jumped into the sea with life jackets on. Police have already recorded statements of over 50 survivors. “Some of them have given a detailed account of the fateful night,” said a police officer.

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