New Delhi: Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa, which was taking part in the big annual Tropex naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal, reportedly met with an accident in the Bay yesterday evening.
According to reports, at least five sailors were killed and several injured when a fire broke out aboard the huge amphibious transport vessel.
According to the Navy officials, the accident took place due to a gas leakage during naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal.
A top Navy officer said, "Initial reports say five sailors have been killed and INS Jalashwa is now headed for Port Blair. Defence minister A K Antony has been informed about the accident and he has expressed deep regret over the mishap. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.”
INS Jalashwa, the Indian Navy's first landing platform dock ship, was acquired from the US for $49 million. The ship arrived in India in September 2007, along with six helicopters which cost another $39 million. The deal was the largest ever defence purchase from the US till now. Based in Vishakapatnam, the ship was commissioned last year.
INS Jalashwa, a 16,900-tonne warship, second only to the 28,000-tonne aircraft carrier INS Viraat in the Indian naval fleet, was bought to give the Navy strategic sea lift capability. It can transport a battalion of up to 900-1,000 soldiers over long distances.
The ship will dock at Port Blair in the Andamans to take part in a fleet exercise on Saturday morning.