At least five people were killed and several others injured in a blast inside an Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) tanker at the Cochin Shipyard in Kerala on Tuesday, police said. As per reports, two people are still trapped inside the vessel.
Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari ordered an inquiry into the blast at Cochin Shipyard. "Shocked by the unfortunate blast at Cochin Shipyard where four people have died. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families," Gadkari tweeted.
"I have spoken to MD, Cochin Shipyard and asked him to provide all necessary medical support to (the) victims and to initiate immediate inquiry with the help of concerned agencies," he said.
The blast took place around 11 am in the water tank of the berthed ONGC tanker Sagar Bhushan when some 20 workers were working in the tanker ship. The Sagar Bhushan has been docked at the Cochin Shipyard for a month for repairs and maintenance.
"The death toll from the blast includes some who apparently choked on the smoke after the explosion," Kochi City Police Commissioner MP Dinesh said. A probe has been ordered, he added.
Eleven people trapped inside the ship were evacuated and rushed to various hospitals in the city, a CSL spokesperson said.