Warship collision: Navy orders probe, FIR against vessel

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Mumbai, Jan 31 (PTI) An Indian warship was badly damagedin a fire that engulfed it following collision with a merchantvessel off the Mumbai coast after which the Navy today orderedan inquiry and registered an FIR against the crew of theforeign vessel.

"The ship is presently listing to port and has touchedbottom," a Defence spokesperson said.

The fire fighting that began last evening continued tillabout 1.30 pm today after which the blaze on INS Vindhyagiriwas brought under control, the Navy said, adding there was nooil spill inside the harbour. However, a Coast Guard officialsaid there was a spill.

The Navy has lodged an FIR with the Yellow Gate PoliceStation against the cargo ship M V Nordlake which collidedwith the fully-operational Leander-class frigate commissionedin 1981.

The captain and crew of the merchant vessel were bookedunder IPC sections 280 (rash navigation of vessel), 337(causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety ofothers) and 427 (mischief causing damage), Deputy Commissionerof Police (Ports) Khalid Kaisar said.

The Board of Inquiry is expected to look into reasonsbehind the collision, assess damage to the ship and recommendif it was fit to be used again.

Navy sources said after the collision, the ship is lyingon the sea bed in the Naval dockyard and cannot sinkcompletely due to shallow waters.

All those on board the warship had been evacuated lastevening itself. (More) PTI VT SK

The Defence spokesman said water had entered the compartments of the ship, which developed cracks due to theimpact of the collision, causing it to list to one side. Therewas excessive smoke caused probably due to burning of lagging(insulation material) in the ship''s compartment, he said.

After the collision, the warship was moved into the NavalDockyard and berthed. There was fire on board and ingress ofwater in some compartments.

Over a dozen tankers were engaged in firefightingoperations, fire brigade sources said.

The collision had occurred near Sunrock lighthouse lastevening when INS Vindhyagiri was returning after a day out forservice families.

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