The Panama-registered cargo ship Bingo was also carrying 8,000 tonnes of iron ore when the accident happened on Saturday, local reports said.
The 20 crew members were last sighted on a lifeboat at the east of Sagar Island in West Bengal on Saturday, and efforts have been made to search for the seafarers, according to RPS Kahlon, chairman of Kolkata Port Trust (KPT).
Kahlon said an aircraft and hovercraft belonging to the coast guard were deployed to search for the lifeboat.
The bulk cargo vessel left for China from Sagar anchorage on 11 October and the ship may have tried to sail back to the port following damaged sustained on the rough sea when the cyclone landed, he explained.
I Jeyakumar, deputy chairman of KPT, was reported saying: “It [vessel] has all chances sunk since it cannot be seen. The crew members had all safely sailed in a lifeboat but they are yet to be traced.”