Indian Navy's troubles seem to be never-ending. Just weeks after a fire on Naval submarine INS Sindhuratna in Mumbai killed two officers, one of Indian Navy's most modern destroyers, INS Kolkata, which was to be commissioned into the fleet soon, was hit by an accident at the Mazgoan Dockyard (MDL) in Mumbai today, killing its commander.
INS Kolkata (known as Yard 701) was undergoing fitment trials when the warship suffered a malfunction in its carbon dioxide unit, leading to gas leak in its engine room. One Navy commander died in the mishap that occurred at around 1 pm while some others were taken ill and hospitalised.
INS Kolkata-class destroyer ship, Yard-701, being built by the MDL, suffered malfunction in its Carbon Dioxide unit while undergoing machinery trials, leading to gas leakage, sources said.
''Yard-701 (INS Kolkata) had a malfunction, leading to gas leakage. One naval officer and some MDL personnel have been hospitalised,'' the Navy said.
However, some other reports have claimed that a Naval officer of the rank of a commander died in the mishap. He has been identified as Kuntal Wadhwa.
INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers. The other two ships in the class - INS Chennai and INS Kochi - would be soon inducted into the fleet.
This is the 12th mishap involving Navy's assets over the last seven months.
The biggest mishap occurred when the INS Sindhurakshak sank inside the Mumbai harbour killing all 18 personnel on board on 14 August (See: All 18 crew feared dead in Mumbai submarine blast)
Earlier this month, INS Airavat, an amphibious warfare vessel, ran aground after which the commanding officer was stripped of his command duties.
After the sinking of the INS Sindhurakshak, one of the mishaps involved INS Betwa which was damaged after probably hitting some underwater object.
India's leading minesweeper, the INS Konkan that was undergoing repairs in Vizag, also 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.
Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi resigned after the Sindhuratna incident on 26 February, taking "moral responsibility" for the spate of mishaps involving naval warships (Navy chief Joshi resigns after new submarine disaster)