A commander rank officer, Kundal Wadhva, 42, died in a warship on Friday off Mumbai coast. Though unclear, the reason for his death is said to be due to gas leakage. He was declared brought dead at St. George Hospital on admission around 1.15 pm, when taken from INS Kolkata, the war ship on which he was working.
INS Kolkata, one of the most modern destroyers in India's fleet of warships was undergoing machinery trials at Mazgaon Docks. It is being built by Mazgaon Docks Limited and will be known as Yard 701 once commissioned.
Reports about the accident stated that first a valve on top of the carbon-dioxide cylinder is said to have burst hitting the officer on his chest. Due to this, the officer collapsed. Gas leaking from the cylinders added to the confusion and fire fighting system failed.
While one naval officer died, a few others were injured. Aslam Gafar Kazi, 51-year-old worker of MDL suffered suffocation and was admitted to Prince Ali Hospital, Mazagaon in ICU. He is a resident of Malad and police said that he was in a situation to give his statement. A resident too is said to have had injuries.
Talking about the accident, a former employee of Mazgaon dock said, “INS Kolkata which is getting ready is newer and more advanced model of INS Delhi. It was launched few years ago when I was working in Mazgaon dock and delayed (for commissioning) due to some reason.”
Explaining the reason for accident, he added, “Some times incident happen inside due to short circuit in cable or other reasons. Around a decade ago, there was some short circuit that took place in the cable at INS Delhi. There is not enough space in ship so if anything happen and if smoke gathers at one place and people are there then will become unconscious.”
"There was no blast or fire or damage otherwise. With some upgradation and repair, the ship will be fine. There should be no delay in commissioning," a MDL spokesperson said.
MDL is India's premier shipyard and manufactures warships, submarines, offshore platforms, tankers, passenger ships and support vessels for the Indian Navy and also private sector.
This is the second incident to have hit the country's defence establishment within a fortnight.
On Feb 26, a fire on the mess deck of the INS Sindhuratna submarine resulted in the deaths of two officers when it was on a training mission in the Arabian Sea. Seven sailors were injured and were airlifted to the INHS Ashvani hospital in south Mumbai.
The vessel was laid down in September 2003 and launched in March 2006. Two sister ships, INS Kochi and INS Chennai, are also under construction at MDL.
The Kolkata class vessels are the follow on of the Delhi class destroyers of which the Indian Navt operates three - INS Delhi, INS Mumbai and INS Mysore.
With inputs from IANS