Eighteen persons were rescued after an iron barge on which they were shifting broken rice sank into the sea at the Kakinada port in the early hours on Sunday.
The barge was carrying the rice to a vessel when it met with the accident. The loss was estimated at about ₹1 crore.
East Godavari Superintendent of Police (SP) Adnan Nayeem Asmi said the accident happened at around 5 a.m. and no casualties were reported. The Kakinada Port police registered a case, he said.
“Crew and the workers on board the barge said that the mishap occurred due to rough weather and strong winds, when it was proceeding towards the deep water port. However, we will probe into other angles too,” the SP said.
600 tonnes load
Kakinada in-charge port officer G.V. Raghava Rao said the barge K.K.D-81 was carrying 600 tonnes of load met with the accident due to rough weather.
“The sarung and all other workers on board the barge were rescued and brought to the shore using other boats. Investigation is on into the accident,” Mr. Rao said.
An exporter, Satyam Balaji Rice Industries, Raipur, has loaded the stocks on the barge as per the order of an agent, M/s. Lotus Marine, Kakinada, on Saturday night.
Steps are being taken to salvage the barge from the sea, the in-charge Port Officer added.
More than 80 barges were operating to shift the goods to the vessels from Kakinada port. The barge owner lodged a complaint with the Kakinada Port police on Sunday evening, said Circle Inspector P. Srinivas Rao.
Police registered a case under Section 280 IPC (Rash Navigation of Vessel) and took up investigation.