Central & South Asia

Indian sailors feared dead in submarine blast

All 18 crew members believed to be dead after submarine sinks in Mumbai, naval official said.

Last Modified: 15 Aug 2013 02:02
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A huge explosion and fire that crippled an Indian navy submarine in its home port of Mumbai has allegedly killed all 18 sailors aboard, a naval official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because divers had yet to recover any bodies, said the navy believed there was no way anyone could have survived the intensity of the blasts and fire.

"It's a loss to all of us. It's a tragedy," Defence Minister A.K. Antony told reporters on Wednesday before leaving for Mumbai to assess the situation.

"I feel sad ... about those navy personnel who lost their lives in the service of the country," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the navy said the sailors were trapped after the conventionally powered submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, cautht fire and sank in the coastal city.

A massive search operation has been launched to rescue the trapped sailors.

The cause of the explosion is being investigated, Narendra Vispute, the navy spokesperson, said. Further details were not available.

Vinod Kumar Menon, city editor of Mid-Day newspaper based in Mumbai, said that fire started at midnight and went on till 5:30-6:00am local time.

Indian news channel, NDTV, said nearly a dozen fire engines rushed to the dockyard to douse the fire.

The submarine was nearly submerged at its berth in the naval dockyard.

Indian media reports say the 16-year-old Russian-made submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, had recently returned from Russia after undergoing an overhaul and upgrade.

The submarine had been damaged in a deadly explosion in 2010.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.