Navy sailor loses leg in oxygen cylinder explosion

Mumbai, April 20 (IANS) At least three sailors were injured, and one of them lost a leg, when a bailout bottle exploded aboard diving support ship INS Nireekshak, an Indian Navy official said here.

The diving bailout bottle is a small 12-inch oxygen bottle carried by divers in their diving helmet for use if a primary gas supply fails.

The ship was on its way from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Mumbai, around 40 nautical miles from Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

The explosion occurred as the bottle was being refilled.

One of the three sailors sustained serious injuries and his right leg had to be amputated above the knee. The two other sailors sustained splinter injuries.

All three are at present in a hospital in Mumbai. Their conditions are reported to be stable.

Meanwhile, an inquiry has been ordered to establish how the cylinder exploded, a first of its kind accident in the Indian Navy.

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