Warship collision: Navy orders probe, FIR against vessel | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Warship collision: Navy orders probe, FIR against vessel

mumbai Updated: Jan 31, 2011 21:56 IST

An Indian warship was badly damaged in a fire that engulfed it following collision with a merchant vessel off the Mumbai coast after which the Navy on Monday ordered an inquiry and registered an FIR against the crew of the foreign vessel.

"The ship is presently listing to port and has touched bottom," a Defence spokesperson said.

The fire fighting that began on Sunday evening continued till about 1.30 pm on Monday after which the blaze on INS Vindhyagiri was brought under control, the Navy said, adding there was no oil spill inside the harbour. However, a Coast Guard official said there was a spill.

The Navy has lodged an FIR with the Yellow Gate Police Station against the cargo ship M V Nordlake which collided with the fully-operational Leander-class frigate commissioned in 1981.

The captain and crew of the merchant vessel were booked under IPC sections 280 (rash navigation of vessel), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage), Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ports) Khalid Kaisar said.

The Board of Inquiry is expected to look into reasons behind the collision, assess damage to the ship and recommend if it was fit to be used again.

Navy sources said after the collision, the ship is lying on the sea bed in the Naval dockyard and cannot sink completely due to shallow waters.

All those on board the warship had been evacuated on Sunday evening itself.

The Defence spokesman said water had entered the compartments of the ship, which developed cracks due to the impact of the collision, causing it to list to one side. There was excessive smoke caused probably due to burning of lagging (insulation material) in the ship's compartment, he said.

After the collision, the warship was moved into the Naval Dockyard and berthed. There was fire on board and ingress of water in some compartments.

Over a dozen tankers were engaged in firefighting operations, fire brigade sources said.

The collision had occurred near Sunrock lighthouse on Sunday evening when INS Vindhyagiri was returning after a day out for service families.