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INDIAN FERRY: Veteran fire-damaged

One of the world’s oldest regularly operating large passenger vessels, the Shipping Corporation of India’s 38-year-old Harsha-Vardhana, suffered fire damage in May while berthed at Khiddirpore dock, Kolkata. Ten cabins, including the Captain’s, were gutted by the blaze, which was reported to have been started by a short circuit during repair work being undertaken on the 748-passenger vessel.

Approximately 60 workers were on board at the time, and four firefighting teams had to board to extinguish the blaze, but no injuries were reported in the incident. SCI has not indicated when or if the 8,871gt ship will return to service on her scheduled runs between three ports on the Indian mainland and the Andaman Islands.

Harsha-Vardhana was completed by India’s Mazagon Dock in 1974 as the Asian country’s first domestically built passenger/cargo liner.

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