An Algerian Navy Koni class frigate has been damaged by an explosion during maintenance and overhaul at St Petersburg’s Severnaya Verf shipyard.
One person was killed and six injured in the incident, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports. The explosion occurred in the engine room of the Project 1159 (Koni class) vessel on 7 December, according to the General Directorate of Ministry of Emergency Situations.
According to TASS, the explosion happened when welding and painting was being carried out at the same time, in violation of safety rules and regulations.
The vessel is in Russia to be modernised under a 2008 contract covering the Koni class frigates and Nanuchka II-class missile corvettes. The frigates Murad Rais and Rais Kellich are known to have already completed the process, so the explosion presumably happened aboard Rais Korso, according to IHS Janes.
Algeria’s navy is set to expand significantly in the near future as it receives a number of new vessels, including two Meko A-200AN frigates by 2018 and two Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) diesel electric submarines from Admiralty Shipyards in Russia, also in 2018. In March 2012 Algeria ordered three C28A corvettes from China, with the first delivered in October this year.