Just weeks before Indian Navy’s most modern destroyer, INS Kolkata, was to be commissioned, the warship was hit by an accident at the Mazgaon Dock in Mumbai on Friday claiming the life of a Commander and hospitalisation of two dockyard employees.
In the 11th incident in seven months stalking naval assets, INS Kolkata (officially called Yard 701) was undergoing fitments and trials when the mishap occurred in its engine room.
Commander Kuntal Wadhwa, 42, lost his life after he inhaled carbon dioxide that was leaking from a malfunctioning unit just a little afternoon while undergoing trials in the Mazagon Dockyard Limited (MDL), officials said.
“Navy officer Kundal Wadhva, 42, was declared dead before admission in St. George Hospital at 1317 hours. He was a resident of Colaba and his relatives are coming from Thane,” Additional CP Krishna Prakash said in Mumbai.
Prakash said that at about 1245 hours during fire fighting testing, the CO2 bottle neck opened accidentally, releasing the gas.
“Aslam Gafar Kazi, 51, worker of MDL suffered from suffocation and was admitted to the ICU in Prince Ali Hospital Mazagaon,” the police officer said.
The statement of Kazi, a resident of city’s Malad (East) area would be recorded soon.
A Mazgaon Docks Limited spokesperson said the destroyer was among three similar ones being built at the shipyard located in south Mumbai.
“Yard-701, being built by Mazagon Docks Limited, while undergoing machinery trials in Mumbai Port Trust had a malfunction in its carbon dioxide unit, leading to gas leakage,” the spokesperson added.
The 6,500 tonne warship, the largest after an aircraft carrier and amphibious warfare vessels, was undergoing testing. It was to be commissioned on March 27.
The mishap took place just nine days after fire and smoke incident on INS Sindhuratna off the Mumbai coast, in which two officers lost their lives and seven sailors were taken ill.