An Indian merchant ship caught fire while being anchored at 14.5 nautical miles south-west off Kochi on Wednesday, causing burn injuries to crew members. The ship has lost power and propulsion and efforts are on for an immediate evacuation of the crew. A defence spokesperson, quoting a message received from the ship with 22 crew members onboard, said one man has suffered 80 per cent burns.
The Southern Naval Command has launched an advanced light helicopter (ALH) and a Sea King 42C helicopter was being prepared later, in case more crew members were to be evacuated, he said. In addition, Indian Coast Guard has dispatched a “Charlie” boat (Fast interceptor craft ) whereas a tug has also been sailed by Cochin Port Trust.
As per the latest information, the fire, which was caused due to an explosion, has been brought under control now. The ship “MV Nalini” which is a chemical tanker was carrying naphtha. The evacuation of the injured by ALH is still in progress.