Thiruvanathanpuram, February 13: At least five people have reportedly been killed and 11 others  injured in a blast at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala on Tuesday. According to reports,  the explosion occurred on Sagar Bhushan ship, owned by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The vessel was docked at the shipyard for maintenance.

Injured have been rushed to a local hospital. Relief and rescue teams have reached the accident site. (Also Read: Pawan Hans Chopper With ONGC Employees Crashes, 4 Killed)

According to initial reports  the explosion took place in the water tank of the under-maintenance ship. Most of the casualties was due to asphyxiation.

The actual cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained. High ranking police and top shipyard officials have reached the accident site.

“The death toll from the blast includes some who apparently choked on the smoke after the explosion,” Kochi City Police Commissioner MP Dinesh told reporters. A probe has been ordered into the incident, he added.

Meanwhile,  Union Minister of Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari has directed top officials of Cochin Shipyard to provide all medical support to victims and initiate an inquiry into the incident.

The Cochin Shipyard, which started shipbuilding operations in 1978, is considered to be India’s best ship-building and repair facility. INS Vikrant, India’s first aircraft carrier built, is currently in the final stage of construction at the Cochin Shipyard.

(With inputs from agencies)