J. Balaji

Probe team to moot steps to avoid accidents

This is the second accident in

engine room

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Board of Inquiry constituted by the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief to go in to the February 1 freak accident in INS Jalashwa is continuing on board of the ship even as it has returned to its base in Vizag on Wednesday after participating in the joint exercise of naval fleets – tropex – in the Bay of Bengal.

The accident, which claimed six lives and injured two others (now undergoing treatment in Port Blair naval hospital INS Dhanvantri), said to have occurred in boiler part of one of the engine rooms of the 37-year old second biggest naval ship of the country, when it was anchored off Port Blair.

Sources said the probe team, headed by a naval captain, consists of members from different units of the navy like engineering, electrical and ship repair and they would be continuing their inquiry for at least next one week before submitting their report. Besides finding out the actual cause of the accident, fixing responsibility and recommending action to be taken against the person concerned, the team would suggest measures to avoid such mishaps in future.

Incidentally this is the first or second time reportedly the such a mishap has occurred in the ship’s engine room. On June 28, 1971, barely three months since its commissioning (March 6, 1971), the ship, the then USS Trenton of American navy, had a major accident in which a steam valve in its number two engine room burst killing six sailors and injuring four others. The ship was sailing off Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) then.

Similarly on January 17, 1977, in Barcelona (Spain) a landing craft of Trenton carrying marines and sailors from shore collided with a merchant vessel and capsized killing 49 US naval personnel. In 1981, at Alexandria in Egypt, Trenton, during her port visit collided with another naval vessel USS Jack which surged against her.