Warship on fire post collision, efforts on to douse blaze

Monday, January 31, 2011

MUMBAI - Frantic efforts were on Monday to save Indian Navy warship INS Vindhyagiri after a major fire engulfed it following a collision with a merchant vessel off Mumbai Harbour, official sources said here.

The warship of the Nilgiri class had collided with the container vessel MV Nordlake around 5 p.m. Sunday but there were no casualties.

The naval fire brigade was assisted by the Mumbai Fire Brigade in dousing the fire, which apparently started in the engine room when it was brought to the naval dockyard for assessing the damage, the sources said, adding that possibilities of saving the warship seemed bleak.

An official defence spokesperson confirmed the fire on board the warship but declined to give further details.

While the naval frigate was entering the Mumbai Harbour after celebrating “a day at sea” with naval personnel and their families, the MV Nordlake, loaded with containers, was navigating out of the harbour.

The collision took place in the main navigation channel used by all vessels to enter both Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

Though there were no casualties or oil spill after the collision, the container ship was detained for further investigations.

Vindhyagiri is a 3,000-tonne, 20-year-old frigate commissioned in the navy in 1981.

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