The Minister, however, confirmed the death of four persons.
“Shocked by the unfortunate blast at Cochin Shipyard where four people have died. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families,” Gadkari tweeted.
“I have spoken to MD, Cochin Shipyard and asked him to provide all necessary medical support to (the) victims and to initiate immediate inquiry with the help of concerned agencies,” he said.
According to the police, five persons were killed and a dozen others injured in the blast inside an Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) tanker.
Those working at the time of the blast mostly included daily labourers and contract workers. Tuesday being a holiday, no regular workers of the shipyard were present.
The blast took place around 11 a.m. in the water tank of the berthed ONGC tanker Sagar Bhushan when some 20 workers were working in the tanker ship.
The Sagar Bhushan has been docked at the Cochin Shipyard for a month for repairs and maintenance.