Fire injures two on Philippine Navy ship off India

BRP Ramon Alcaraz (Photo: Philippine Navy)

Two Filipino sailors were injured in a fire that broke out on a Philippine Navy vessel shortly after it left India’s Cochin Port on the evening (local time) of Thursday, May 7.

The incident on the patrol ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz occurred as it and another Filipino warship were sailing for Manila following a recent repatriation mission in the Middle East.

The crew were able to extinguish the blaze in the main engine room within minutes. However, due to the damage suffered by the engines, the vessel then immediately returned to Cochin to undergo critical repairs prior to the resumption of its voyage to Manila.

One of the injured crewmen was treated by the ship’s embarked medical staff while the more seriously injured sailor was airlifted to an Indian Navy hospital with a fully-equipped burn facility near Cochin. Both individuals are now in stable condition.

An initial investigation revealed that a lube oil leak in Ramon Alcaraz‘s main engine room was the apparent cause of the fire.

Officials said the repairs will be carried out with technical assistance from the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and are expected to last 21 days as investigators work to determine the full extent of the damage.

Meanwhile, the landing platform dock (LPD) BRP Davao Del Sur, which had earlier accompanied Ramon Alcaraz to Oman, has since resumed its voyage to Manila and is expected to arrive there on May 23.

The two navy vessels had made a brief scheduled stop in Cochin to pick up donated medical supplies to aid in the Philippine government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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