Navy officer dies fighting fire onboard INS Vikramaditya

The fire was reported on Friday morning when the ship was entering harbour in Karwar in Karnataka.

New Delhi: In a tragic incident, an Indian Navy officer was killed on Friday while attempting to douse a fire on India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

The fire was reported on Friday morning when the ship was entering harbour in Karwar in Karnataka. According to sources the fire started in the engine room.

However, the war fighting capability of the warship is intact. “The fire was brought under control by the ship’s crew in a swift action preventing any serious damage affecting the ship’s combat capability,” said Indian Navy in a statement.

“Lt Cdr D.S. Chauhan bravely led the fire fighting efforts in the affected compartment. Whilst the fire was brought under control, the officer suffered loss of consciousness owing to the smoke and fumes during the fire fighting efforts,” it said.

He was immediately evacuated to the Naval Hospital at Karwar, INHS Patanjali for medical attention. However, the officer could not be revived. He is from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh.

Lt Cdr Chauhan, who was leading the effort to douse the fire was trained in chemical nuclear biological disaster prevention. “Every part of the ship has nominated damage control and fire fighting party which rushes in such emergency situations to prevent damage to the whole vessel,” said sources.

“A Board of Inquiry to investigate in to the circumstances of the incident has been ordered,” said the statement by Indian Navy.

This is the second incident on the ship. In June 2016, two people were killed by a toxic gas leak that occurred during maintenance work in the Sewage Treatment Plant compartment of INS Vikramaditya.

INS Vikramaditya was commissioned into the Indian Navy in November 2013 at Severodvinsk in Russia. The Russian-origin ship is often called a floating airfield. The 44,500 tonne is about 284-m-long and its height is around 60 m, which is like a 20 storeyed building from keel to the highest point. The ship has a total of 22 decks.

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