The Ministry of external affairs has confirmed that six Indians died while six others are still missing in the fire incident in the Black Sea involving two ships – Maestro and Candy. Of the six Indians who died, five were from Candy while one was from Maestro.
The names of the deceased are Pinal Kumar Bharatbhai Tandel, Vikram Singh, Sarvanan Nagarajan, Vishal Dod, Raja Debnarayan Panigrahi and Karankumar Haribhai Tandel. Those who are still missing are Siddharth Meher, Neeraj Singh, Sebastian Britto Breezlin Sahayaraj, Rushikesh Raju Sakpal, Akshay Baban Jadhav and Anandasekar Avinash.
The Ministry of External Affairs in a release said, "We regret to inform that there have been causalities among Indian seamen working on these ships. We convey our deepest condolences to families of those deceased."
Russian Maritime Agency and Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre Novorossiysk are still continuing the efforts to locate the missing persons.
As many as four Indians – Harish Jogi, Sachin Singh, Ashish Ashok Nair and Kamleshbhai Gopalbhai Tandel – have been rescued.
The incident took place on January 21 when fuel was being transferred from one ship to another. It took place 16 miles from the coast of Russia's Krasnodar Krai at the entrance to the Kerch Strait.
The Director-General Communication Center, Indian Registry of Shipping, Mumbai is in touch with families of affected Indian seamen. Indian Registry of Shipping is making all arrangements for the repatriation of rescued seamen while Indian embassy in Moscow is making arrangements to bring back the bodies of the deceased.
The MEA has issued emergency contact number of the Embassy of India in Moscow – 007-9652773414. The number of Director General Communication Center, Indian Registry of Shipping is also given out – 0091-22-22614646, 022 22610606.
Meanwhile, the Investigation Committee of Russia has initiated a criminal case under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (causing death by negligence). Russian authorities are providing assistance by rescue ships Mercury and Demidov.