Armed forces

Guided Missile Frigate INS Betwa Tips Over, Leaving Two Navy Sailors Dead

The INS Betwa after it tipped over. Credit: Twitter

The INS Betwa after it tipped over. Credit: Twitter

Two personnel were today killed and 15 others injured when INS Betwa, a guided missile frigate, tipped over while undocking at the naval dockyard in Mumbai.

“There has been an incident in the cruiser grounding dock at naval dockyard in Mumbai involving INS Betwa. The incident occurred during undocking evolution wherein it is suspected that dock blocks mechanism failed,” navy spokesperson Captain D.K. Sharma said.

“We have never seen anything like this before,” ANI quoted him as saying.

The navy chief of staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, is on his way to Mumbai to “take stock” of the situation.

According to the ANI report, 14 crew members were rescued with minor injuries.

The 3,850-tonne ship, 126 metres long, tipped over while it was being undocked, he said. The mast of the ship hit the dockyard ground.

It was docked for repairs and while being returned to the water – a process that involves tipping the ship – the system tripped and the entire ship fell sideways. The main mast of the frigate broke.

The navy has ordered an inquiry to fix responsibility and ascertain the damage, the Indian Express reported.

This isn’t the first time the INS Betwa has been in an accident. The ship had run aground in January 2014 and collided with an unidentified object which led to a crack in its sonar system and had also seen salt water ingress into sensitive equipment.

Named after the river Betwa, the frigate has been in service for over 12 years. It was indigenously designed and built with the capability to operate at extended ranges, with speeds up to 30 knots.

It is one of the key warships of the Western Naval Command. It is armed with Uran anti-ship missiles, Barak 1 surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes.

(With PTI inputs)

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