Police said several bodies were quite decomposed and were difficult to identify.
An Indian Naval Ship carries out search and rescue operations
The Mumbai Police, on Saturday, said 61 bodies have so far been recovered from the Arabian Sea days after the Barge P305 sank off the Mumbai coast during Cyclone Tauktae.
"Barge P305 incident: A total of 61 bodies recovered by Mumbai police. At least 26 bodies handed over to the relatives of the deceased after post mortem and other formalities from JJ Hospital," Mumbai Police said in a statement.
Police said several bodies were quite decomposed and were difficult to identify. "Police arranged for DNA sampling of the relatives to match with the bodies", the statement said. Mumbai Police has also sent a request to the Forensic Laboratory for 40 DNA sampling kits for this purpose.
Indian Navy on Saturday informed that the Search and Rescue Operations for the crew of Barge P305 and Tug Varapradha will be augmented by specialised diving teams onboard INS Makar (with sonar) and INS Tarasa. The crew were affected as the cyclonic storm 'Tauktae' brushed past the western coast on Monday, due to which the barge sank.
At least 188, including two from the anchor boat Varaprada, have been rescued so far from the barge P305, the Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) said on Friday. The search and rescue operations for the remaining crew is still underway, the Defence PRO said.
On Friday Mumbai Police booked the captain of the barge P305, Rakesh Ballav, along with others, on the basis of a complaint by rescued barge engineer Mustafizur Rehman Shaikh.
Allegedly, the captain of the barge did not make any arrangements for the safety of the staff on board, due to which the barge sank in the cyclone storm and many lost their lives.
Cyclone Tauktae has impacted the weather conditions in several parts of Northern India.
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