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Short circuit led to fire on board under-construction warship at MDL

NEW DELHI, Jul 17, 2019

NEW DELHI: A preliminary probe into the fire on board the under-construction destroyer Visakhapatnam at Mazagon Docks (MDL) in Mumbai last month, in which a worker was killed, has indicated that a short-circuit in a contractor’s portable electric grinding machine led to the accident.

“Two executives concerned have been placed under suspension, while the work awarded to the contractor’s firm has been put on hold. Fire safety and accident prevention system and organization on board the ship has been further strengthened,” said minister of state for defence Shripad Naik in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The fire has erupted when the grinding machine was being used to clean a tank in the AC compartment of Visakhapatnam, the first of the four 7,300-tonne guided-missile destroyers being constructed at MDL under Project 15B for around Rs 30,000 crore, on June 21.

Visakhapatnam, which is to be commissioned by 2021, was “launched into water” in April 2015, and was followed by her sister ships, Mormugao and Imphal. The Project-15B warships, which span 163-metre in length and 17.4-metre at beam, will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots and able to operate two multi-role helicopters each, say naval officers.

“The destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and manoeuvrability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect,” said an officer.

Once these warships are commissioned, they will join the ranks of operational destroyers named INS Delhi, INS Mumbai, INS Mysore, INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Chennai. The naval tradition is to name indigenously-constructed destroyers, which are second only to aircraft carriers in size and combat power, after a state capital or big city.

Short circuit led to fire on board under-construction warship at MDL
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