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Indian Navy Ships Recover 22 Bodies of People Who Died on Sinking Barge

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This handout photograph taken May 18, 2021 and released by Indian navy shows stranded workers from a barge being airlifted by naval personnel on an Indian navy helicopter during an evacuation operation, in the Arabian sea.

Indian navy ships Wednesday recovered the bodies of 22 people who died aboard a barge that sank off the coast of Mumbai late Monday, a navy spokesman said.

Spokesman Mehul Karnik said the search continues for 55 more people who disappeared after Cyclone Tauktae, the most powerful storm to strike the area in more than two decades, swept through Gujarat state, killing more than 50 people in Gujarat and Maharashtra states.

Karnik also said 184 people had been rescued by ships and helicopters from seven meter high waves.

A man waves as people rescued by the Indian navy from a barge that sank in the Arabian sea walk out from Indian naval ship INS Kochi in Mumbai, India, May 19, 2021.
A man waves as people rescued by the Indian navy from a barge that sank in the Arabian sea walk out from Indian naval ship INS Kochi in Mumbai, India, May 19, 2021.

The barge had 261 people on board when it sank as the storm hit the Bombay High oil field near Mumbai, killing 14 people.

The barge was used in contract work for Oil and Natural Gas Corp., India's largest exploration company.

Cyclone Tauktae also damaged more than 16,500 homes and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people at a time when India struggles with record numbers of COVID-19 deaths.

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