Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Massive Explosion Sinks Indian Submarine At Berth, Salvage On

A huge explosion inside Indian Navy Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhurakshak late last night sunk it in its berth at the Mumbai naval dockyard, with just a tiny portion visible. A major fire spread inside the submarine post the explosion. The navy put out a statement a short while ago to say that 18 personnel were on board when the explosion ripped through the submarine, but doesn't say yet if they've been rescued. Salvage and rescue operations are on right now, and have been through the night.

INS Sindhurakshak, inducted in 1997, suffered a fire in 2010 in which a sailore was killed. Three months after the fire, the submarine was sent to Russia for a major refit that lasted three years. All its major systems were overhauled and repaired, and it was given the new Club-S AShM and Porpoise radar, in addition to a modernisation of its cooling system.

This is still a developing story. Will update as soon as there's more. Meanwhile, here's the full text of the Navy's statement this morning:

An explosion resulting in a major fire took place on board INS Sindhurakshak, a Kilo class submarine of the Indian Navy, shortly after midnight on 14 August 2013.  Fire tenders from the Naval Dockyard as well as the Mumbai Fire Brigade were immediately pressed into action.  However, due to as yet unknown damage suffered as a result of the explosion, the submarine has submerged at her berth with only a portion visible above the surface.  About 18 persons were on board the submarine at the time of the accident and efforts are on to ascertain the safety of the personnel and salvage of the submarine. A Board of Inquiry is being instituted to investigate into the causes of the accident.


Anonymous said...

Already we r lagging behind in the number of submarines & above that such incidents. I pray to God that all trapped sailors get rescued safely & for speedy recovery of the injured.

keshavkrishnamurty said...

This looks like it could be a torpedo explosion like the one that blew up Kursk almost exactly 13 years ago. It's hard to say for sure. I put up a little analysis of that here -

Way too many Russian torpedoes use Kerosene and Hydrogen Peroxide. If the last modernization didn't remove any rust from the torpedo tubes, peroxide from a leaking torpedo could have reacted with the rust and set off a huge fire (and set off torpedo warheads as well). In addition, this sub has caught fire before due to bad batteries.

Even if there are multiple possible causes for this mess, it really shows poorly on Russian safety in shipbuilding. We paid them 80 million to modernize the sub and this happens right afterwards?

Anonymous said...

This incident will put the spotlight on our depleted submarine arm.

Anonymous said...

Induct one another one goes of life i guess!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm an ex submariner,,

Ever heard og human factor?
Don't blame the big R:s before we know more...

Anonymous said...

Maybe its time for India to start buying and collaborating with western navys insted of buying sucide machines from Russia.

rustom said...

News channels are showcasing the big blow to Indian Navy thru the destructions of a single submarine sindhurakshak.Some points that come out of such
1) Every facet of any arm of the forces has an impact as it has a job to do individually. But for any one single asset to have such an impact singularly shows the MoDs not allowing Navy to be up to speed.
2) Sindhurakshak may have been IN frontrunner , but how come a 1997 built is a frontrunner in 2013. Whilst modifying it, how come MoD didn't envisage the need of more such especially keeping in mind the IN submarine's negative trend.
3) Why was the navy's army's and IAF's strength not kept up to the mark and beyond and above the perceived strength. Who has failed in that duty...The MoD, and the question iscan a suit be filed against those personnel who sat on files abetting and aiding the destruction of national security. That too after collecting tax for it.
The scorpion submarine languishes and takes India backwards.MDL should be made answerable along with MoD officers overseeing the files..
4). Its the right time for veterans who are showcassed on tv , to highlight the indifference of MoD,that makes sinking of 1 submarine , create a very big blow to national security.

India is the only country to suffer the consequences of sanctions by its own hands...Thanks to the negligent, lethargic MoD...But then are not Mod Chiefs from the Textile or agricultural ministry and the supreme commander of India's armed forces with ZERO experience in military strategy or warfare..

Anonymous said...

FYI Kursk was sunk by an us sub , torpedo explosive was a cover story

usa didnt want the Chinese to have the rocket torpedo ........why do think Putin refused to raise it until some1 offered to cut off the bow , why do think usa wrote off 10 b in loans , y do u think the sub commander refused to surface and instead chose to increase it speed ,as if under attack , y do think hole near the bow , y do us sub had limp back to port , the ny times did a story ...........

everyone whose said the truth was fired by Putin and its let no forget the Richter scale readings .................................

as far as todays accident ,let say we just don't know ......cause only training torpedo use hy Peroxide.....and only Russian navy didnt remove them

Anonymous said...

Just as IAF squadrons are getting depleted due to outdated MIG21. The Indian Navy is experiencing the same with out dated Russian kilo class diesel submarines. Sindhurakshak class. Nearly 90 million dollars have gone down the drain with irreparable loss of 18 sailor lives.