One person drowned and 13 people sustained burn injuries when a major fire swept through an Indian Coast Guard’s offshore support ship, forcing its crew to jump into the Bay of Bengal in outer harbour of Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh yesterday, police said.
Another member of the 29-strong crew of the ship ‘Coastal Jaguar’, hired by oil major Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, has gone, our New Delhi correspondent reports quoting police.
Others were rescued, police said.
The body of the person drowned was recovered and the injured admitted to a hospital while the Coast Guard, which rescued the crew after they jumped into the sea, was searching for the missing person, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police T Mohan Rao said.
The condition of at least five of the injured was stated to be critical as they suffered severe burns, he said.
The accident had occurred at around 11:25am Indian time at Visakhapatnam Port Trust's Single Point Mooring (SPM) Terminal, where crude and oil supplies are handled.
The cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained but police suspect it might have started when the oil pipe was being fixed to the HPCL line. The port and HPCL authorities are probing the cause, another senior police official said.
The fire was put out by port vessels after an over-four-hour operation.
A Defence Ministry statement said 28 crew members of the Coastal Jaguar ship were rescued by another Coast Guard ship. There were 29 crew members when the fire broke out and they jumped into the Bay of Bengal to escape from the blaze, it added.
There was a loud explosion on board the ship, followed by a thick smoke.