A navy sailor and a civilian died from inhaling toxic gas that leaked during maintenance work on the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier at Karwar in Karnataka, a defence spokesperson said late on Friday.
Two others who also inhaled the gas were taken to the Naval Hospital and are stable, officials said, adding that inquiry had been ordered into the incident.
According to the navy, the mishap took place at about 5 pm on Friday while the Russian-made ship was undergoing repairs at Karwar.
Rakesh Kumar, Shipwright Artificer Class 4, and Mohandas Kolambkar, an employee of Royal Marine were the two who succumbed to the toxic fumes.
“The next of kin of the deceased have been informed. The condition of the other two personnel is stable,” a navy officer said.
Authorities have also taken action to ensure the compartment and area on the ship were safe.
Commissioned in 2013, INS Vikramaditya is India’s largest aircraft carrier and is equipped with a variety of integral weapons and sensors. It had been under maintenance repair since June 1.
The latest deaths adds to a series of accidents that have plagued the Navy in recent years. Such has been the spate that chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned from the top post in 2014 owing to moral responsibility.
In 2013, one of the navy’s Russian-made diesel-powered submarines, the INS Sindhurakshak, caught fire after an explosion and sank at its home port in Mumbai, killing all 18 sailors on board.