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Vessels collide off Goa coast; crew rescued

January 27, 2007 17:12 IST

A barge carrying 2,000 tonnes of iron-ore sank off Panaji port after being hit by another barge on Saturday afternoon, the port authorities said.

No casualties were reported in the accident as all the crew members were immediately rescued by another boat, they said. Authorities also ruled out possibility of any major pollution in the sea.

The barge, MV Warren, was hit at the rear end by the vessel MV Sea Horse, also laden with iron ore, while they were proceeding to unload the material in the trans-shipper anchored in the port.

"Water gushed into the engine room of the ill-fated barge after it developed a crack. The entire ship sank within an hour," Sankulp Amonkar, Executive Member of Goa Barge Owners Association, told PTI.

Around 300 barges are operating in Goan waters, all of them carrying iron ore from different destinations across the state.

"There was no obstruction to the barge or ship movement as the accident did not occur in the channel but in the sea," Amonkar said.

Goa, which has mining as the second largest industry, saw six barges sinking last year.

"Most of these accidents took place during monsoon due to bad weather," Amonkar said.

Incidentally, both barges involved in the accident are hardly three-year-old while the average life of a vessel is 35 years.
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