Barge P305 served as accommodation for workers contractually employed on oil rigs and platforms of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
COMPANIES ASSOCIATED WITH BARGE P305
ONGC had contracted Afcons Infrastructure Limited for an offshore project which, in turn, had subcontracted Mathew Associates for the workforce. Smaller companies were also contracted for specialized work.
It had 261 crew members and was around 70 km from the shore when it was reduced to debris by Cyclone Tauktae on May 17.
TAUKTAE THE ONLY PROXIMATE CAUSE BEHIND THE SINKING?
Cyclone Tauktae ripped the Arabian Sea on May 17. The First Stage warning known as “Pre Cyclone Watch” were making rounds since May 11. Numerous barges did hit the harbour to ensure the safety of its crew members, however, barge P305 was an anomaly.
The ministry of petroleum and natural gas announced a high-level inquiry into “lapses and gaps” in the system. On May 18, the day after the barge sank, the Mumbai police registered an FIR against Balvinder Singh, the captain of the vessel, for negligence, based on a complaint from the chief engineer. Captain Balvinder Singh had to sail back to the shore, however, he didn’t adhere to it.
Late on Friday, ONGC announced Rs 1 lakh relief for each of the survivors and Rs 2 lakh each for families of those who died or are still missing.
INS Kochi, INS Kolkata, coast guard vessels were a part of the 7-day rescue mission.
The accounts of survivors like the 32-yr-old Naresh Kharatmol recite their ghastly tales in the torrential seas for more than 12-15 hours. About 188 people survived the torrential seas with a recovery of the bodies of 49 crew members while 26 remain missing. (Source: Newslaundry)
As per an Indian Express report, Valsad Police has stumbled upon three bags washed by the waves, containing important documents, like Aadhaar cards and passports. The documents might belong to at least 15 persons who were on board the barge.