At least five people were killed and 11 others were injured in a blast in ship berthed for repair at the Cochin Shipyard today. Three people are reported to be trapped inside the ship and efforts are on to evacuate them.
The blast occurred around 10:45 am onboard Sagar Bhushan, a drilling ship belonging to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), that was berthed for repair, when the oil tank of the ship burst.
The ship was under maintenance and the blast occurred in its water tanker, according to reports.
Those working at the time of the blast were mostly daily labourers and contract workers. Tuesday being a holiday, no regular workers of the shipyard were present.
Most of the injured are in a critical condition, according to reports.
The blast caused a fire to break out, but Kochi Police Commissioner M V Dinesh said the fire has been brought under control. "The death toll from the blast includes some who apparently choked on the smoke after the explosion." A probe has been ordered, Dinesh added.
''The mishap happened at the dry dock of the shipyard. Five deaths have been confirmed. The situation is under control and an investigation is on to find out how the blast took place,'' he said.
Cochin Shipyard is a public sector undertaking engaged in shipbuilding and ship-repair. With the country's largest ship repairing yard, CSL repairs almost all types of vessels, including ships of the oil exploration industry, the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard, and merchant ships of the ONGC.