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Cassidian


SEPTEMBER 2013 ISSUE


Tragedy at Sea
Major fire onboard sinks Indian Navy Submarine INS Sindhurakshak
 


Scene of the accident site in the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Wednesday, 14 August 2013, where the INS Sindhurakshak, sank after an explosion early in the morning
Scene of the accident site in the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Wednesday, 14 August 2013, where the INS Sindhurakshak,
sank after an explosion early in the morning


Shortly after midnight on August 14, two major explosions occurred onboard INS Sindhurakshak and huge fire was observed from the conning tower hatch. The submarine, which was berthed at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, sank shortly thereafter. Eighteen naval duty personnel - three officers and 15 sailors - were inside the submarine at the time of the incident. According to the statement given by the defence minister, the explosion and resultant damage were near instantaneous, and hence, onboard personnel were not evacuated immediately.

Initial assessments, according to the Indian Navy, indicated that an internal explosion occured in the forward compartment of the submarine, where ordnance was stored, resulting in further near-simultaneous explosions, and major fire onboard INS Sindhurakshak. The preliminary investigations, according to a statement given by defence minister A.K. Antony, indicate that the explosion was due to the possible ignition of armament. The cause of ignition is, however, yet to be established by the navy. “Visual and forensic examination would throw more light into the possible cause of ignition. This will be possible only after the submarine is afloat and dewatered,” said Antony.
 
 
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