A boat often hired by the Indian Navy to carry out patrolling duties along the river Hooghly caught fire on Tuesday when it was parked at Babughat. The incident triggered tension among some people in the area.
The incident took place around 7 am on Tuesday near Princep Ghat, when the boat was parked at the ghat. Two persons, who were on the boat, were injured in the incident. They were taken to Command Hospital and are undergoing treatment. Their health condition is stated to be serious.
After being informed, two fire engines rushed to the spot and doused the flames. It was learnt that the boat had caught fire when some repair was going on. The organisation that used to maintain the boat has been asked by the Navy to explain the reason that the fire.
There was confusion among local residents over the cause of the fire, as the speed boat was regularly used by Navy personnel for conducting surveillance. Navy authorities on Tuesday confirmed that there were no Navy personnel on the boat at the time of the incident.
According to officials of the Indian Navy, the boat used to be hired from time to time for patrolling the river. Naval persons only remained on board at the time of patrolling and it was not owned by the Navy.
The boat was, in fact, operated and maintained by a contractor. It is suspected that poor maintenance of the boat might have led to the fire. A detailed inquiry has been initiated to probe into the incident.