Explosion sinks Indian Navy submarine

Thursday, August 15, 2013

INS Sindhurakshak in February of this year
Image: Brian Burnell.

The Indian Navy has said that two explosions yesterday on INS Sindhurakshak, a Russian-built Kilo-class submarine, have trapped up to eighteen of its sailors. Navy officials have warned the families of trapped sailors to "prepare for the worst".

The stricken vessel sank in its berth in Mumbai with only a small portion still visible on the surface. The cause of the explosion is still unclear.

A fire that started as a result of the explosions has been brought under control and other sailors that managed to escaped received attention from emergency personnel. Divers are attempting to locate survivors and refloat the vessel.

In 2010, a fire broke out after an explosion in the battery compartment on the INS Sindhurakshak, killing a sailor. The submarine had recently returned from Russia after undergoing an overhaul and upgrades after the 2010 incident.

The Indian Navy has ten diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines in its fleet. These developments come just days after the Indian Navy launched the nation's first Indian-built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, which the navy calls their "crowning glory".