Five killed in Cochin Shipyard blast
The explosion occurred in ONGC’s drill ship ‘Sagar Bhushan’
KOCHI Feb 13 : Five workers were killed and 12 others seriously injured in an explosion on an ONGC rig that was under repair at the Cochin Shipyard on Tuesday.
Senior officials said the blast occurred in a ballast tank in the forward part of drill ship ‘Sagar Bhushan’, which has been dry-docked at the yard for nearly two months now.
“There was a minor fire outbreak, which was brought under control immediately, but thick fumes within the tank marred rescue operations,” an official said.
Despite Tuesday being a holiday, there were several workers in the area when the blast occurred. “The yard has an effective fire control mechanism and there were firemen on contract on board the ship under repair. But the number of casualties was more owing to the fact that the blast was inside a tank,” the official added.
Fire tenders of the State Fire and Rescue Services were additionally deployed to control fire and carry out rescue operations.
Four critical in hospital
The workers who suffered burn injuries were rushed to a nearby private hospital, where the condition of at least four was said to be critical.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked the police and the fire and rescue personnel to extend all emergency support. He urged hospitals to provide immediate trauma care to the victims of the accident.
The ONGC drillship, which has been dry docking since December 7, 2017, was undergoing mandatory Special Survey (Hull & Machinery) repairs in Cochin Shipyard as per class requirement. The cause of the incident is being ascertained, the ONGC said in a statement on Tuesday.