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Sad about Sindhuratna mishap: Antony

Posted on Feb 27 2014 | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 27 : Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday said he is very sad about the INS Sindhuratna mishap in which at least seven Navy personnel were injured and two sailors went missing.

"I am very sad about the incident. Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi came to me. He was very disturbed and said he would like to take responsibility. He insisted that I accept his resignation," said Antony.

"So I consulted everybody and the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and ultimately took a decision to accept it," he said.

After Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi, more Indian Navy officers are likely to resign in connection with the INS Sindhuratna mishap, said reports on Thursday.

"The sources say that more Navy officers in the Western Command may quit over the incident, the cause of which is not yet known," reported CNN-IBN.

INS Sindhuratna on Thursday morning docked at the Mumbai harbour as search operations for two missing sailors are all set to resume.

Hours after a submarine accident off the Mumbai coast left seven Navy personnel injured, Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned on Wednesday.

The Indian government accepted his resignation with immediate effect.

"Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi today resigned from the post of CNS. The Government has accepted the resignation of Admiral Joshi with immediate effect," the Indian government said in a statement.

"The Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral RK Dhowan will be discharging the duties of officiating CNS, pending appointment of regular CNS," read the statement.

At least seven Navy personnel were injured and two sailors went missing in a mishap inside the INS Sindhuratna, a Kilo-class submarine, off the Mumbai coast on Wednesday.

According to reports, a search operation was launched to trace the two sailors.

"Smoke was seen coming out of the vessel during a routine exercise. It was brought under control within 24 hours," said Navy PRO Rahul Sinha.

"Around five crew members need treatment as they have inhaled smoke," he said.

The Indian Navy ordered an enquiry into the incident.

INS Sindhuratna (S59) is a Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy.

In August last year, at least 18 Navy personnel were killed in a fire onboard INS Sindhurakshak submarine that sank after an explosion.

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