A merchant ship caught fire off the coast in Kerala’s Kochi district on Wednesday with one crew member suffering 80% burns, PTI reported. MV Nalini caught fire while being anchored 14.5 nautical miles southwest of Kochi.
The fire was reported in the engine room following an explosion at 8.30 pm. The chemical tanker, which is carrying naphtha, had 22 people on board at the time. The Navy and the Coast Guard have launched a rescue operation.
A spokesperson for the Southern Naval Command said it will press Sea King helicopter into service if more crew members need to be evacuated. “We were informed that only one person suffered severe burns till now,” the spokesperson said. “We will evacuate the entire crew if we get request from the ship. We have already sent INS Kalpeni to provide assistance.”
The evacuation of the injured by helicopter is underway, The Indian Express reported.
The Coast Guard has deployed its “Charlie boat” for the rescue operation.