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article imageIndian Navy submarine explodes in flames killing 18 officers

By Abdul Kuddus     Aug 14, 2013 in World
Mumbai - In a tragic military disaster, an Indian submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, sank with 18 sailors at a naval dockyard in Mumbai early Wednesday after a huge explosion swallowed it up in flames.
The sailors were inside the submarine when the explosion happened and remained trapped till the submarine began sinking and finally went down around dawn.
The incident occurred while the Russian-built submarine was moored at the Naval Dockyard. Reportedly, two sequential explosions sparked by a fire which caused a major explosion, destroying ammunition stored in the front section of the deep-sea attack vessel.
“The 2300-tonne Kilo class submarine, powered by diesel generators and electric batteries, had returned after a major refurbishing in Russia, and was armed with the anti-ship 'Club' missiles,” the Economic Times reported.
Television footage of the incident showed huge ball of flames at the Mumbai naval dockyard lasting for nearly three hours before it was brought under control around 3am.
Commenting on the disaster, the Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi said:
"We cannot rule out sabotage. But indications at this point do not support the (sabotage) theory. At this point of time we are unable to put a finger on what exactly could have gone wrong."
The Times of India reported that the submarine, recently renovated in Russia, had a large stock of ammunition, fuel and oxygen water and remained sunk for more than 12 hours after the explosion.
Reportedly all 15 sailors and three officers inside the submarine have been killed in the tragedy.
First Post India reported:
“The cause of the fire has not been officially revealed, but media channels quoting unnamed naval sources, have said that it is likely that the weapons aboard the fully loaded submarine detonated, causing the explosion."
A naval board of inquiry has been set up after the incident, to investigate the cause of the fire inside the submarine in four weeks.
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