Fire on board ship at Cochin shipyard kills five

Policemen direct a fire engine after a fire broke out on a ship under repair at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd in Kochi on Tuesday. REUTERS

In a tragic incident, five people were killed in an explosion on a drill ship at the Cochin Shipyard at around 10am on Tuesday morning. "But there was no time and the first to come out after the blast had splinter injuries", Madhu S. Nair, chairman and managing director of the shipyard, said. Five persons involved in cutting and welding of the bottom water tank of ONGC's drillship "Sagar Bhushan" were killed in the mishap that occurred at the CSL. In order to strengthen the HSE awareness levels among the workforce HSE briefings and alerts are issued, the release said. The explosion occurred at around 9.15 am Tuesday, shortly after a gas leakage was reported near the AC compartment area of the ship.

After explosion, police and Naval fire tenders immediately rushed to the yard to douse the fire. Speaking after around two hours of the blast, Varghese also said the ship continues to be engulfed by smoke. The oil tank of the ship burst while doing the fix work. The others are out of danger, Nair said.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed grief over the tragedy and offered his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

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Cochin shipyard is one of the leading shipbuilding and fix yards in India, which has an infrastructure that combines economy, scale, and flexibility, and has ISO 9001 accreditation.

"CSL places health, safety and environment (HSE) as one of its core value in operations", the company said.

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