12th accident involving a Navy vessel since August last year

In yet another mishap on a naval vessel, a minor fire broke out on-board INS Matanga on Sunday afternoon while the tug-boat was undergoing refit operations at dry dock in the Naval Dockyard. No one was injured in the mishap. The fire was brought under control soon by the officials on-duty, navy officials said.

Navy officials said there was smoke on-board the vessel due to smoldering operations at around 3pm. The reason of the fire is still unknown.

"The private firm working on board was carrying out steel welding in the Sewage Treatment Plant compartment when insulating material in the adjacent compartment started smoldering and emitting thick smoke," a naval official said.

Official sources said that the civilian fire brigade was not called upon, as the ship staff brought the fire under control with the help of the Naval Dockyard fire station.

INS Matanga is a tug which is generally used for fire-fighting and salvage operations. Officials said that there was no damage to any material in the mishap. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

This is the 12th accident involving an Indian Navy vessel since August 2013. Within a year, 22 persons have lost their lives due to such accidents.

Just last month, a naval officer was killed in a gas leak on board INS Kolkata while undergoing delivery trials at the Mazagon Dock here. A few days before that, fire in the sailors' compartment of INS Sindhuratna led to the death of two officers. Seven sailors were also injured in the mishap.

In January this year, INS Airavat, an amphibious warfare vessel, had run aground. INS Sindhughosh too was about to run aground the same month when it entered the Mumbai harbour during low tide.

The most devastating accident took place in August last year when INS Sindhurakshak sank in the Mumbai harbour, killing all 18 personnel on board.


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