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Indian Navy chief resigns hours after submarine mishap off Mumbai coast

English.news.cn   2014-02-26 22:02:12

NEW DELHI, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Indian Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi Wednesday resigned from his position, hours after a submarine mishap off Mumbai coast in which seven sailors were injured and two officers went missing.

The Indian Defense Ministry has accepted the resignation of 59- year-old Admiral Doshi, the first military chief to quit taking moral responsibility of a spate of mishaps involving Indian Navy warships and submarines in the past few months.

"Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, chief of naval staff Admiral D.K. Joshi today resigned from the post of Navy chief. The government has accepted the resignation of Admiral Joshi with immediate effect," the Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Indian Navy's deputy chief Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan will take over as the acting naval chief till a regular naval head is appointed in place of Admiral Doshi who was a specialist in anti- submarine warfare.

Sources said that Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony briefed Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, the supreme commander of the armed forces, about the incident.

The resignation of Admiral Doshi, who was appointed the Indian Navy chief in 2012 and was due to retire next year, came hours after smoke engulfed Russian-made submarine INS Sindhuratna, some 50 km off the Mumbai coast, in which seven sailors sustained injuries and two officers went missing.

"The submarine was on a routine training sortie off Mumbai's coast when smoke was detected. Measures were taken to contain it. All the sailors are currently undergoing treatment under the supervision of a team of doctors," Indian Navy spokesman Commander Rahul Sinha told the media in the national capital.

A probe has been ordered into the incident, he added.

Local TV channels reported that the 25-year-old Indian Navy submarine was being sea tested after a refit when smoke -- probably caused by a fire on board -- was noticed inside the vessel, forcing it to surface, and it is now on its way to Mumbai port.

The Russian-origin kilo-class submarine, one of India's 14 conventional submarines, was, however, carrying no weapons or ammunition when the mishap happened.

This is the 10th mishap involving an Indian Navy warships and the third submarine accident in the last seven months. Last year, 18 sailors were charred to death when another submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, sank after catching fire following multiple explosions on board.

The INS Sindhurakshak tragedy was the second biggest after the sinking of INS Khukri in 1971, which was being torpedoed by Pakistani submarine PNS Hangor. The ill-fated ship had 18 officers and 176 sailors on board when the incident happened.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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