Visakhapatnam, March 9 IANS | 9 months ago

One person was killed in an accident here at a shipbuilding centre where three nuclear-powered submarines are being developed. But the DRDO said Sunday the accident won't hit the programme.

"The submarines are safe and the accident (Saturday) does not adversely affect the project," the Defence Research and Development Organisation said in a statement.

According to DRDO, a contractual worker lost his life while two others were injured in the accident when a pressure tank was being tested.

"During testing of a pressure tank at a facility ... related to development of submarines, an accident took place (outside the submarine) at about 5 p.m.," said the statement.

The accident took place when the tank's lid fell on the workers as pressure of the hydraulic tank of the Arihant class submarine was being tested.

Under the Arihant class submarine development programme, India is building three submarines.

DRDO clarified the accident would not hit the programme. "The submarines are safe and the accident does not adversely affect the project."

The department of defence research and development has ordered investigations into the incident. According to a separate statement by the defence ministry, the accident occurred while L and T, an industrial partner, was undertaking preparatory activities of hydro pressure test of a tank inside a building at the Ship Building Centre.

"The test of the component was part of the standard industrial process being carried out by the industrial partner at the facility."

The condition of the injured workers is said to be stable.

"No defence personnel were involved in the accident. The accident is in no way related with any nuclear related activity," it said.

"The submarines are safe and the accident does not adversely affect the project activities or the activities of Indian Navy or DRDO," the statement added.

Work related to the pressure system involved in accident has been suspended till the cause is established and mitigating measures are put in place.

This is the latest in a series of accidents to hit the Indian navy.

A naval officer was killed and some dock workers were injured due to a gas leak in an under-construction ship at the Mazagaon dock in Mumbai this week, while two officers were killed and seven others injured in a fire aboard a navy submarine INS Sindhuratna off Mumbai Feb 26.

A blast sank submarine INS Sindhurakshak in August last year, killing all 18 sailors and officers on board.

Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned last month owning responsibility for the series of accidents.

(Posted on 09-03-2014)

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