Mumbai: At least three Indian Navy sailors died of injuries while 11 sustained burn injuries in an explosion on board the Rajput-class destroyer, INS Ranvir, at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Tuesday.
“In an unfortunate incident today at Naval Dockyard Mumbai, three naval personnel succumbed to injuries caused by an explosion in an internal compartment onboard INS Ranvir,” a Defence Ministry release said. No major material damage has been reported, it added.
The explosion occurred around 4.45pm in an internal compartment of the destroyer, which was anchored at Mumbai on cross-coast deployment from eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam.
Though the board of inquiry ordered into the mishap will ascertain exact details, sources said the blast was probably due to leakage of gas in the air-conditioning compartment of the warship. “Those who died were sitting in their cabin adjoining the AC compartment when the blast occurred. The cabin collapsed on them. The blast was not ammunition-related,” a source told media.
A defence spokesperson said: “The ship’s crew responded immediately and brought the situation under control. No major material damage has been reported.”
“INS Ranvir has been on a cross-coast operational deployment from the eastern Naval Command since November 2021 and was due to return to base port shortly,” said the spokesperson.
INS Ranvir, the first of the Ranvir class destroyers, was commissioned into the Indian navy on April 21, 1986. The ships were built in the former Soviet Union. The role of Ranvir class ships involves protection such as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare for carrier task force defense against submarines, low-flying aircraft, and cruise missiles.