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Blast causes fire at Cochin Shipyard killing 5 persons

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 • Tamil Comments

Blast causes fire at Cochin Shipyard killing 5 persons

It is reported that at least 5 persons died and 11 were injured in a fire accident at the Cochin Shipyard yesterday in neighbouring Kerala.

Sources at the shipyard say that a blast was heard from a docked vessel, Sagar Bhushan, around 10:00 on Tuesday morning when roughly 20 persons were working in the ship. The blast occurred in the tank of the drillship owned by the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), one of the huge profit making PSUs under the Govt. of India. The drilling vessel was being repaired at the dry dock of the shipyard when the incident occurred.

Those working at the time of the blast included daily-wage labourers and contract workers. As it was a holiday in view of ‘Shivratri’, no regular employees or workers of the shipyard were present on board. Fire has been doused and the situation is under control. It is further reported that deaths occurred due to intense smoke.

Cochin Shipyard, which went operational in 1978, happens to be the country’s oldest and largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility. Meanwhile, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has ordered an inquiry into the blast.

“I have spoken to the MD, Cochin Shipyard and asked him to provide all necessary medical support to victims and to initiate immediate inquiry with the help of concerned agencies,” Gadkari has said. A tweet from the Minister, who was a former president of the ruling BJP at the Centre, said: “Shocked by the unfortunate blast at Cochin Shipyard; my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families”.