Indian navy investigates warship collision

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MUMBAI – Indian defence officials began a probe on Monday into a collision between a warship and a merchant vessel near Mumbai, in the latest incident in the busy waters outside the city, an officer said. The INS Vindhyagiri suffered damage and a fire broke out near the engine room as she returned to the city’s naval dockyard on Sunday with the families of navy personnel on board.
“The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained. That will only happen subsequent to the naval board of inquiry that will be set up,” defence ministry spokesman Captain M. Nambiar told AFP. Firefighters and military personnel battled thick smoke to bring the fire on the Leander class frigate under control as she was towed back to the dockyard from the busy shipping channel off India’s financial capital.
Nambiar said the ship, which was commissioned in 1981, was listing in the dock’s shallow waters because of damage to her hull but would right herself once pumping began. Defence officials in New Delhi said that ammunition on board was cleared and that “all efforts” were made to contain the fire and flooding.