An Indian Navy officer died fighting fire onboard aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in Karwar, Karnataka. The fire broke out when the carrier was entering the harbour.

In a statement the Indian Navy said that the officer, Lieutenant Commander DS Chauhan, “bravely led the firefighting efforts in the affected compartment”.

The officer suffered loss of consciousness due to the smoke and fumes. He was immediately rushed to the naval hospital INHS Patanjali in Karwar but could not be saved.

The Navy added that the fire was brought under control by the ship’s crew “in a swift action preventing any serious damage to the warship’s combat capability.”

The Navy has set up a Board of Inquiry to probe the circumstances of the incident.

INS Vikramaditya is the flagship carrier of the Western Naval Command and is currently the only aircraft carrier in service with the Indian Navy.

A modified Kiev-class carrier, INS Vikramaditya was bought from Russia – which had commissioned it in 1987 in the Soviet era. The warship was renamed Admiral Gorshkov after the fall of the Soviet Union and remained in service with the Russian Navy till 1996.

India placed the order for the ship in 2004, which was modified as per the requirements of the Indian Navy.

The ship carries a complement of MiG 29K and various helicopters.