Bengaluru, March 07: India's soon-to-be-retired aircraft carrier INS Viraat had a bad day at sea on Sunday following a minor fire that claimed the life of a sailor.
Navy spokesperson informed defence correspondents around mid-night that INS Viraat was on a routine deployment to Goa when the incident took place.
The cause of the fire is suspected to have triggered from a steam leak at the ship's boiler room.
The deceased sailor has been identified as Ashu Singh, who was a Chief Engineering Mechanic on board the ship.
"While the incident was quickly brought under control, three other sailors who were present at the scene and combating the fire sustained injuries due to the smoke. Ashu Singh was shifted to a naval hospital in Goa, but he suffered a cardiac arrest and succumbed to his injury," the spokesperson said.
The injured are out of danger and the ship is expected to sail back to Mumbai soon. Interestingly, the Navy officials said that the fire broke on a historic day when a Sea Harrier flew from INS Viraat's for the last time before the ship getting decommissioned.
Navy suspects that some insulating material in the boiler room might have caught fire from the heat following the steam leak.
The spokesperson said that all families on board the ship were disembarked at Goa.
"The fire was controlled immediately by the crew using on board fire-fighting equipment. Due to the thick smoke generated during the incident, a few sailors have inhaled smoke," the spokesperson said.
The ship was in the process of being shut down, including the boilers.
Indian Navy said that it was an emotional 'Family Day at Sea' for the Viraat family on Sunday.
"It was an emotional moment for CO INAS 300 (White Tigers) Squadron, pilots, men and families. The Harrier Squadron took off from the deck of the Mother for the last time," a Navy official said in his tweet.
Navy says a formal investigation is on to track the exact cause of the fire.