Major fire in Indian submarine, 18 crew members feared dead

File picture of Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak.
File picture of Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak.

In a major setback to Indian navy, fire broke out in Indian submarine (INS Sindhu-rakshak) at Mumbai Naval Dockyard last evening. At least 18 crew members, who were on board the submarine, are feared dead.

Mumbai, Aug 14/Nationalturk-: A major fire broke out in Indian submarine (INS Sindhurakshak) at Mumbai Naval Dockyard last evening. At least 18 crew members, who were on board the submarine, are feared dead.

“An explosion might have caused the fire. The footage of the blast indicates that multiple blasts seem to have taken place outside the submarine. At least 18 Navy personnel including some officers were on board the submarine at the time of the incident. Their fate is not known and it is feared that they are dead,” officials said.

They said multiple blasts were so loud that that they could be heard and seen across parts of South Mumbai.

TV footage of the incident showed a huge ball of fire triggered by the explosion lighting up the night sky in Colaba area where the Navy dockyard is located.

Over two dozen fire engines alongwith Indian Navy’s fire fighting team rushed to the dockyard to douse the fire.

“Due to the explosion, the submarine has submerged at the dock with only a portion visible above the surface. The exact damage suffered by the submarine is not known yet,” Indian defence ministry spokesman said.

Unconfirmed reports said another submarine docked close by, the INS Sindhuratna, managed to pull away, but has been damaged in the explosion.

Sources said divers had been deployed to locate the trapped sailors. “However, no contact was yet established with those missing and the divers had not been able to enter the boat”.

“Eighteen sailors were on board the submarine, they have not been evacuated yet,” navy spokesman PVS Satish said.

Indian TV news channel NDTV quoted sources as saying that the submarine was fully loaded when the explosion took place shortly after midnight. “The missiles and torpedos were detonated in the fire,” they said.

Armed with its latest multi-role missile system, radar and electronics, sources said submarine was to be the backbone of the Indian Navy. “INS Sindhurakshak, considered one of the world’s most advanced non-nuclear submarines, had been returned by Russia less than a year ago after a major refit. It is a kilo-class submarine which normally operates with a crew of 53 people.”

After losing INS Sindhurakshak in the fire, India now has just nine other submarines in this class.

Media reports quoted Indian Navy’s Vice Admiral (retd) A K Singh as saying that an internal explosion in a submarine could be caused by either material failure or by not following standard operating procedure.

“I suspect that hydrogen gas generated during charging of the batteries of the submarine could have led to the fire which could have spread to the missile compartment area of the warship, causing the massive explosion,” he said.

Former Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sushil Kumar said that the incident was, “quite a setback for the Navy as Sindhurakshak was one of our frontline submarines which was recently modified and was operational”.

Indian Defence Ministers confirms crew members death

Indian Defence minister AK Antony said he feels sad about the sailors who lost their lives in the fire on an Indian Navy submarine in Mumbai.

“I feel sad about those Navy personnel who lost their lives for the country,” Antony told reporters outside Indian Parliament.

He described the incident as the greatest tragedy of recent times. “So many people have lost lives”.

“My heartfelt condolences to families of sailors who were inside the submarine. All humanely possible help will be extended to families of sailors,” Antony said.

Indian Navy orders inquiry

Indian Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry to probe the explosion and subsequent fire onboard its submarine INS Sindurakshak.

A Navy official said a Board of Inquiry is being instituted to investigate into the causes of the accident.

He said fate of 18 persons onboard the submarine is being ascertained.

Write your comments and thoughts below

Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk India  News

[adrotate banner=”41″]

Related Articles

Bir yanıt yazın

Başa dön tuşu
Breaking News