Indian Navy personnel hurt in ship accident, says ministry

MUMBAI (AFP) - An Indian naval officer and an unspecified number of dock workers were injured on Friday in a gas leak aboard a yet-to-be commissioned naval ship, a government statement said.

The ship, called Yard 701 by the defence ministry, is being built by Mazagaon Docks in Mumbai, the headquarters of the Western Naval Command.

"While undergoing machinery trials in Mumbai Port Trust, (the Yard 701) had a malfunction in its carbon dioxide unit, leading to gas leakage," the ministry said in a statement, adding the officer and docks personnel personnel had been "hospitalised".

But the Press Trust of India and news channel NDTV reported the naval officer might have died in the accident.

The Indian Navy has been without a chief since Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned last month after a fire on one of the country's submarines, the INS Sindhuratna, killed two officers.

Indian Navy ships have been hit by a string of accidents in the past few months with the worst involving the INS Sindurakshak, a submarine which burst into flames in Mumbai harbour last August, killing 18 sailors and sinking the vessel.

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