Four People Killed in Blast at Cochin Shipyard

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…As Mexico Finds Cocaine Attached to Hapag-Lloyd Ship***

At least four people died in a blast that took place on a drillship that was being repaired at Cochin Shipyard Ltd, India’s officials confirmed.

The explosion is said to have occurred in a ballast tank of the ONGC drillship Sagar Bhushan, which was undergoing repair at the yard for the past two months.

India’s Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said he was shocked by the unfortunate blast at Cochin Shipyard in which four people lost their lives on Tuesday.

Gadkari added that an immediate inquiry will be launched into the incident with the help of concerned agencies.

Dozens of other workers were injured in the blast as well, based on initial media reports, but the exact number of casualties differed across media publications.

The death toll is likely to rise, according to police officials cited by the Indian Express, as several workers were in critical condition due to the severity of the sustained burns.

Medical care is being provided to the victims and CSL and other officials are present on site to help, the Ministry of Shipping said.

“Sec-Shipping has got in touch with Chief Secretary, Kerala and ensured all possible aid to victims,” the ministry said in a tweet.

Work on dousing the fire is underway.

Meanwhile, Mexican naval units have found 42 kilograms of cocaine attached to the 9,326 TEU containership Cautin at the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas.

Naval divers conducted an underwater search and located the drugs, which were packed in two suitcases, attached to an underwater hull.

The 2014-built ship arrived in Lázaro Cárdenas from Colombia’s Buenaventura port on February 6.

Owned and operated by German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd, the containership was bound for the port of Manzanillo, Mexico. AIS data provided by MarineTraffic shows that the vessel continued its journey.

Relevant authorities took possession of the illicit cargo and will be launching an investigation into the incident.

This was the second drug-related incident involving a Hapag-Lloyd ship in less than a month. In late January 2018, a number of unauthorized persons boarded the German-flagged containership Rotterdam Express in an effort to smuggle 185 kilograms of cocaine aboard.

The vessel’s crew reported the presence of unknown persons on board shortly after leaving the port of Cartagena, Colombia.

Colombian naval and coast guard units were immediately sent to assist the crew. Once on board the 66,975 dwt vessel, the officials conducted an inspection, locating ten illegal passengers. The officials also inspected the containers and found the cocaine.

World Maritime News