Blast at Cochin Shipyard kills 5, three trapped inside burning ship: ONGC-owned vessel Sagar Bhushan was 'under maintenance'

At least five people died after a blast rocked Cochin Shipyard on Tuesday. Reportedly, a ship by the name Sagar Bhushan was under maintenance at the shipyard and the blast occurred in its water tanker. According to Hindustan Times, three people are trapped inside the ship and efforts are on to evacuate them.

At least 11 have been injured, media reports said. According to News18, the drill ship belonged to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and was docked at the Cochin Shipyard for repairs. Reports said that most of those who died were workers at the shipyard, although official confirmation is still awaited. News18 reported that of the five, two were from Kerala.

Those working at the time of the blast mostly included daily labourers and contract workers. Tuesday being a holiday, no regular workers of the shipyard were present.

The blast took place around 11 am in the water tank of the berthed tanker when some 20 workers were working in the tanker ship. High ranking police and top shipyard officials have reached the accident site. Speaking to the media, Kochi City Police Commissioner MP Dinesh said: "The death toll from the blast includes some who apparently choked on the smoke after the explosion." A probe has been ordered, Dinesh added.

A trade union leader present at a private hospital here said nine workers were admitted there.

Police and fire and rescue service personnel have rushed to the shipyard to carry out rescue operations. Cochin Shipyard is a public sector undertaking engaged in shipbuilding and ship-repair. The yard repairs India's largest vessels, including ships of the oil exploration industry, the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard, and merchant ships of the ONGC.

Further details are awaited.

Updated Date: Feb 13, 2018 13:02:50 IST