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.

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