The Mumbai Fire Brigade will probe the cause of fire on board a warship under construction at the Mazgaon dockyard on Friday. A 23-year-old contract worker died while another was injured in the incident. Fire officials said that the fire broke out on the fourth deck of the ship, which has a narrow entrance, making it difficult for fire fighters to put out the blaze.
“As the entrance was narrow, only one fire fighter, armed with his breathing apparatus, could get inside at a time. The deck was filled with smoke, which could have led to the death of the contract worker. His body was completely charred,” said a senior fire official. “The area where work was going on was very small and only two people could work at a time. Other workers were waiting on the upper deck,” he said.
Officials said the incident took place around 4 pm on Friday in Yard 12704 on INS Visakhapatnam. The body of the 23-year-old, who hospital authorities later identified as Brajendra Kumar, was recovered by 7 pm.
INS Visakhapatnam, a stealth guided missile destroyer, is the lead warship of Project 15B which involves construction of four such destroyers. Started in April 2015, INS Visakhapatnam is expected to enter service with the Indian Navy by 2021. “An inquiry will be conducted to know from where the fire started,” said Hemant Parab, Deputy Chief Fire Officer.