INS Betwa naval frigate tipping event kills 2

Mumbai,Dec6:Two Navy personnel were killed and 14 others injured when INS Betwa, a guided missile frigate, tipped over during undocking at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Monday.

Ashutosh Pande and Niraj Rai (both engineers) died in the accident and 14 were injured. The injured were taken to the INHS Asvini at Colaba. The incident took place at 1.50 pm when the Brahmaputra class guided missile frigate was being undocked.

“This is a very big situation for the navy as this has never happened before… The incident occurred during undocking …it is suspected that dock blocks mechanism failed,” said navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma.

According to reports, the Brahmaputra-class warship has suffered massive damage as it has fallen on the port (left) side thereby not only damaging the warship’s body but also the radar systems installed on top of the bridge. But, the exact extent of damage is yet to be ascertained. Technical evaluation for making the ship upright is in progress and an inquiry into the incident has been ordered

The 3,850-tonne warship was indigenously designed and built with the capability to operate at extended ranges, with speeds up to 30 knots. Its system includes anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes.

According to a report in DNA, Monday’s accident is the fifth for the Indian Navy this year, the earlier four—involving INS Viraat (in March), INS Nireekshak (April), INS Vikramaditya (June) and INS Dega (August)—had killed three Navy personnel and left eight injured.

In the last four to five years, the western naval command has witnessed a series of accidents and the largest one was a fire in submarine Sindhurakshak that had killed 18 personnel and officers in 2013.