Visakhapatnam: One killed, two hurt in accident at nuclear submarine construction site

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Visakhapatnam:  One worker was killed and two others injured in an accident on Saturday at a shipbuilding centre in Visakhapatnam where India is building its first class of three nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

The incident took place when the pressure of the hydraulic tank of the Arihant class submarine was being tested and the tank’s lid fell on the workers at Building-5 of the shipbuilding centre, Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander said.

“An accident took place while testing of a pressure tank at about 5 PM in the evening,” a statement by the DRDO said. A civilian worker “unfortunately lost his life”, Mr Chander added.

An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

But INS Arihant, which is likely to go for sea trials in the next couple of months, has not been affected. Under the Arihant class submarine development programme, India is building around three submarines.

“The submarines are safe and the accident does not adversely affect the project,” the statement from DRDO added.

The mishap comes just a day after a gas leak on an under-construction ship at the Mazagaon dock in Mumbai killed a Navy officer. Carbon dioxide had leaked from a malfunctioning unit during machinery trials of a yet-to-be-commissioned Kolkata class ship. (Read)

Less than two weeks ago, two officers were killed in a fire aboard a Navy submarine INS Sindhuratna, which had been refitted and was being sea-tested.

Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi had resigned owning moral responsibility for that and several other accidents in the last few months, including the blast that sank another submarine INS Sindhurakshak in August last year, killing all 18 sailors and officers on board.

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