• Explosion and fire on offshore vessel at Vizag, one killed

    A person was killed and another went missing after a massive fire broke out in an offshore support vessel (OSV) named Coastal Jaguar, hired by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, on Monday, following a loud explosion on board the vessel.

    The deceased has been identified as Ashish Kumar (30) from Rajasthan and the missing crew member has been identified as Vicky (40). According to city police, both of them jumped out of the vessel after the fire broke out. The rest of the 26-member crew of the Coastal Jaguar was rescued by teams sent by Visakhapatnam Port Trust and the Indian Coast Guard.

    According to police, six crew members are seriously injured — Tasarapu Bharadwaj (23), a resident of Old Post Office area in Visakhapatnam suffered 90% burn injuries, Ansar Ulhak (39), who hails from Kolkata suffered 65% burns, Vanamadi Annavaram (40) from East Godavari suffered 30% burns, Jaswir Singh (46) from Agra suffered 45% burns, Juvin Joshi (24) from Ernakulam suffered 45% burns and Chintapalli Tandelu (48) from Srikakulam. The police said eight others were also injured in the mishap. All of them have been admitted to a private hospital in the city.

    The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but sources said a cylinder pipe caught fire, while police sources said it might be an explosion of fuel tank. The vessel had gone to Single Point Mooring (SPM) for maintenance work. The accident took place while the work was being carried out. Meanwhile, a press release issued by Vizag Port Trust (VPT) said the fire erupted in the vessel at HPCL’s Single Point Mooring, a terminal where crude oil is handled.

    The VPT marine department was alerted about the accident around 11.25am and deployed four craft — Sea Lion Agile, Sea Lion Sentinel, Sardar Patel and Fire Float — for rescue operation. According to VPT, 13 of the crew were injured and shifted to hospital and six were rescued unhurt, but did not reveal how many were part of the crew.

    Indian Coast Guard vessel Rani Rashmoni, which was in the vicinity, was sent to coordinate rescue operations. The Coast Guard also deployed Samudra Pheredar and chopper C-432 for support. Coastal Jaguar was towed by a VPT tug to a safe location away from the SPM.

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