NATIONAL

"Ship captain died while trying to rescue kin"

EMOTIONAL RE-UNION: A rescued crew member of the cargo ship, which caught fire in the Bay of Bengal on May 31, breaks down after seeing his relatives at Haldia port on Saturday. — Photo: AP

EMOTIONAL RE-UNION: A rescued crew member of the cargo ship, which caught fire in the Bay of Bengal on May 31, breaks down after seeing his relatives at Haldia port on Saturday. — Photo: AP  

HALDIA (WEST BENGAL): The cargo ship m.v. Faiz caught fire on the midnight of May 31, burning to death three family members of Captain P.B. Shelley, who also died while trying to save them, according to the rescued crew members who were brought here by the Coast Guard on Saturday.

All the 10 crew members of the Kolkata-bound ship carrying pulses were picked up from the open sea in the Bay of Bengal by the Coast Guard. They said they watched helplessly as their captain was burnt to death.

The chief officer of the ship, Rajiv Lahiri, who jumped into the rough sea in panic without a life jacket, was yet to be found, Coast Guard Commander, Eastern Region, Gurupdesh Singh, told newsmen here.

The crew, who were rescued from a life raft after sending out distress signals and brought back by the Coast Guard ship, Chand Bibi, left for their homes in Kolkata.

Caught by surprise

Giving an account of the fire onboard they said that it caught everybody by surprise as it started past midnight from the engine room and then spread to the living quarters.

``In the ensuing chaos we saw the captain rushing to rescue his family members from his cabin, but as soon as he opened the door a huge ball of flame engulfed him,'' one of the crew said.

Managing Director of the shipping company Pervez Rahman said a company vessel m.v. Atif had been allowed by the Coast Guard to tow back the ship, which was scheduled to reach here either on Monday or Tuesday. All the bodies were still on the cargo ship.

The captain's brother P.B. Shyam arrived in Haldia from Hyderabad during the day. — PTI

Recommended for you