This TV screen grab of Indian Times Now channel shows an India submarine exploding in Mumbai, India, Aug. 14, 2013. An India submarine exploded and sank in Mumbai on Wednesday and 18 sailors on board were feared trapped. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
NEW DELHI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- India Wednesday confirmed the deaths of sailors trapped on board one of its leading Russia-made submarines, INS Sindhurakshak, which sank soon after getting gutted in a major fire triggered by multiple explosions at Mumbai' s naval dockyard in the early hours.
"I feel sad about those Navy personnel who lost their lives for the country. I have briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the fire. I am just now going to Mumbai to see and get the details there," Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony told the media in the national capital.
At least 18 sailors are said to be trapped inside the submarine while those injured in the explosions and managed to jump off the vessel have been admitted to a nearby floating naval hospital.
Sources said that the explosion took place soon after midnight on board the Indian Navy's newly modified INS Sindhurakshak subramine docked at the high-security naval dockyard in Mumbai.
"Though the fire which was triggered by the explosion was doused at 3 a.m. (local time), the vessel was gutted in the fire and sank into the sea. INS Sindhuratna, another submarine berthed nearby, also got damaged in the explosion," they said.
A high level probe has been ordered by the Indian Navy, sources said, adding that sabotage is also not being ruled out as the explosion took place a day before India's Independence Day.
"The submarine was fully loaded when the explosion took place in the weapons' bay. The fire could have resulted in the detonation of torpedoes or missiles on board. Though it appeared to be an internal explosion but we will wait for the probe report, " they said.
Indian Navy chief Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi is currently in Mumbai to take stock of the situation.
The explosions happened just two days after India launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier, hailed as "crowning glory" by naval officials. A similar explosion in the same submarine in 2010 claimed the life of one sailor. The vessel was berthed at Visakhapatnam port in the southern Indian of Andhra Pradesh.
This 16-year-old INS Sindhurakshak is bought from Russia and equipped with the Russian Club-S cruise missile system. India had, three months ago, spent 80 million U.S. dollars to upgrade it in Russia and it's expected to serve the Indian Navy for 10 years more.
India has now nine other submarines in this class.
MUMBAI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Indian Navy's INS Sindhurakshak submarine at the Mumbai Naval Dockyard blasted and then caught fire early Wednesday morning, with 18 sailors feared trapped inside the gutted vessel, local news channel NDTV said.
According to navy officials, the submarine blasted around 12 p. m. in the midnight, and soon it was on major fire. Sailors on board jumped off the ship for safety. Local residents even can saw fire and heavy smoke from the spot. Full story
NEW DELHI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Just two days after India launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the country suffered a major setback after a major fire, triggered by a huge explosion, gutted one of its submarines and partially damaged another at Mumbai naval dockyard in the early hours of Wednesday.
"The explosion took place soon after midnight on board Indian Navy's newly modified submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, docked at the high-security naval dockyard in Mumbai. It was gutted in the fire and INS Sindhuratna, another submarine berthed nearby, also got damaged in the explosion," the sources said. Full story