Naval officer killed on board INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya. PTI file photo

Indian Navy officer Lt Cdr DS Chauhan died on Friday while battling a fire on-board India's lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya off Karwar.

The fire in the engine room of the gigantic warship was reported this morning when the ship was entering the harbour.

The 30-year-old officer who hails from Ratlam and got married recently put duty before self and led the firefighting effort.

Though the fire was brought under control, he lost his consciousness in thick smoke and fumes during the firefighting efforts.

He was immediately evacuated to the Naval Hospital at Karwar, INHS Patanjali for medical attention, but could not be revived, an Indian Navy spokesperson said in a statement.

A Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances of the incident has been ordered.

 

"It is with profound grief and regret that we report the sad and untimely demise of Lt Cdr Chauhan, a young colleague and a brave brother-in-arms. He laid down his life fighting a fire in a machinery compartment. We salute his courage and sense of duty and will make every effort to ensure that his supreme sacrifice does not go in vain. We shall be with his family forever and at all times," tweeted Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

"His daring effort prevented the fire spreading and causing major damage to the combat capability of the Carrier," he added.

The swift action by Lt Cdr Chauhan and the crew prevented any serious damage affecting the ship’s combat capability.

The aircraft carrier is scheduled to take part in the Varuna series of naval exercises with French Navy next week.

Beginning on May 1, this would be the biggest joint war drill of the two navies involving French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle with its Rafale-M naval jet and Indian carrier INS Vikramaditya with its complement of MiG-29K fighter jets.

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