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Sindhuratna: Missing sailors declared dead

Posted on Feb 27 2014 | IBNS

Mumbai, Feb 27 : The two sailors, who had gone missing after the INS Sindhuratna, have been declared dead by the Indian Navy on Thursday.

"The Navy said the two officers - Lieutenant Commander Kapish Muwal from Delhi and Lieutenant Manoranjan Kumar from Jamshedpur - were trapped for over 24 hours in a compartment filled with toxic smoke and died of asphyxiation," reported CNN-IBN.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister AK Antony is scheduled to meet the Chief of the Western Command Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha on Thursday over the incident.

Earlier the same day, Antony met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and updated him on the incident.

The Indian Navy submarine INS Sindhuratna on Thursday morning docked at the Mumbai harbour as search operations for two missing sailors resumed.

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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