A fire broke out today onboard naval ship Matanga which was undergoing repairs at the dockyard here, but no casualty was reported in the incident.
This is the 14th mishap involving a naval vessel in the last 10 months, including INS Sindhurakshak submarine which sank at the Mumbai harbour on August 18, last year, killing 18 personnel on board.
The fire broke out onboard Matanga, an ocean-going tug capable to towing two large vessels out of the harbour, during welding on the ship, Navy officials said.
Fire tenders were rushed to douse the flames and the extent of damage caused to the ship was being assessed, they said.
No casualty took place in the incident and a Board of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate it, the officials said.
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“At about 3 pm today, there was a minor incident of smouldering and smoke observed on board Indian Naval Ship Matanga which is undergoing repairs at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
“The private firm working on board was carrying out steel welding in the Sewage Treatment Plant compartment when insulating material in the adjacent compartment started smoldering and emitting thick smoke,” a defence spokesperson in Mumbai said in a statement.
“It was promptly detected by the duty personnel on site and the situation was brought under control by the ship’s staff with assistance from Naval Dockyard fire station,” he said, adding, “It is confirmed that there has been no injury to any personnel on board nor any material damage.”
He said, “An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.” D K Joshi had resigned as the Navy chief after the INS Sindhuratna submarine mishap on February 26, owning moral responsibility for the mishaps.
After INS Sindhurakshak sank, one of the mishaps involved INS Betwa which was damaged after probably hitting some underwater object. INS Sindhughosh, another Kilo Class submarine, had a close shave after it entered the Mumbai harbour in a low tide phase.
India’s leading minesweeper, INS Konkan, that was undergoing repairs in Visakhapatnam, caught fire and suffered major damage to its interiors. The Pondicherry-class minesweeper was getting a refit at a dry dock when the incident occurred.
In a recent mishap, one of the two stabilisers of INS Trishul warship was found missing during its refit. A Navy officer lost his life in an explosion in its fire fighting equipment onboard INS Kolkata just before it was to be delivered to the force.
INS Talwar had also crashed into a fishing trawler which sank during a night exercise off the coast of Ratnagiri in Maharashtra last December. INS Airavat, an amphibious warfare vessel, had run aground off the coast of Visakhapatnam early this year.
Majority of the mishaps in the Navy have taken place under the Western Command in Mumbai which houses a majority of the assets of the force.