Kochi: Five people were killed and 11 were injured after a blast at the Cochin Shipyard in Kochi on Tuesday. Two more people are believed to be trapped inside the vessel.
Sources said the blast occurred during maintenance work at the ship Sagar Bhushan. The vessel belongs to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The blast took place at the water tank of the ship. The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital and rescue operations are underway.
The deceased were believed to be contract workers, a Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) official said.
Three injured people have been admitted to a private hospital here, he said, adding that the condition of one of them, who suffered 40 per cent burns, is stated to be critical. The CSL spokesperson earlier today said 11 people trapped inside the ship were evacuated and rushed to city hospitals. A senior police officer said the fire has been brought under control and the death happened due to asphyxiation.
City Police Commissioner MP Dinesh visited the accident site and said those trapped on the ship were evacuated and the situation was under control now. The blast reportedly occurred in a water tank on the front side of the ship docked in the yard for repair.
The incident occurred at around 10 AM when those on the vessel were about to deboard it for breakfast break. Police said smoke inhalation is suspected to be the reason for the casualties.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed condolences over the incident. “Fire force and police have been instructed for intensive rescue operations. The injured have also been directed to give immediate treatment,” he tweeted.