Fire onboard INS Viraat kills one, injures three

07 March 2016

In yet another tragedy for the Indian Navy, on sailor was killed and three others were injured after a fire broke out onboard aircraft carrier INS Viraat in Goa. The accident occurred while the sailors were trying to bring a minor fire on the deck of the vessel under control, reports said.

One of them, chief engineer mechanic Ashu Singh, who inhaled smoke from the fire, was shifted to the Naval Hospital in Goa, where he suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

The other three are under treatment and out of danger, the official said.

He said the incident was quickly brought under control, but one sailor died and three others sustained injuries while combating the fire onboard the soon-to-be-decommissioned aircraft carrier.

The fire was caused by a stream leak in one of the ship's boiler rooms late on Sunday afternoon, a navy spokesperson said. "Prima facie, it appears some insulating material in the boiler room caught fire from heat due to the stream leak. Investigation is underway," a Navy spokesperson said.

Viraat, one of the two aircraft carrier that India is operating, will soon be decommissioned and is expected to sail back to Mumbai soon.

The Navy said the incident happened when the ship was berthed the Goa harbour after a sortie.

Earlier in the day, family members of the navy personnel visited the aircraft carrier. "All families had disembarked and the ship was in the process of shutting down the missionary, including the boiler," the officer said.

INS Viraat had first served the British Navy for over 30 years, before being bought by India. It was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987 after undergoing an extensive refit.

The ship, which also saw action in the Falklands War and was India's sole carrier for over a decade, attended the International Fleet Review at Visakhapatnam in February.

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