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Fire on board aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, no casualties reported

NEW DELHI (PTI):  A fire broke out on board India's lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Wednesday when it was operating off the strategic Karwar base in Karnataka, officials said.

They said all personnel on board the warship were safe.

It is learnt that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been apprised of the incident by the naval headquarters.

In a statement, the Navy said a board of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the fire incident.

The aircraft carrier was carrying out sea trials after it underwent a refit.

"During a planned sortie for the conduct of trials at sea, an incident of fire was reported onboard INS Vikramaditya today. The ship was operating off Karwar," the Navy said.

"The fire was brought under control by the ship's crew using onboard fire fighting systems. No casualties have been reported. A board of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident," it added.

The officials said the incident took place in the evening.

Earlier, a young naval officer had died when a fire broke out on board the solitary aircraft carrier in April 2019.

There was a minor fire on board INS Vikramaditya in May last year as well.

The Indian Navy is set to commission its second aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, next month.

INS Vikramaditya is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier purchased by India from Russia in 2013 under a USD 2.3 billion deal, and it was renamed in honour of Vikramaditya, the legendary emperor.

The Russian-origin ship is often called a floating airfield. The 44,500-tonne warship is about 284 metres long and its height is around 60 metres, which is like a 20-storey building from the keel to the highest point.

The ship has a total of 22 decks, and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K jets, Kamov 31 and Kamov 28 helicopters.

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