18 submariners trapped as INS Sindhurakshak submerges after major explosion

Mumbai, Aug.14 : At least 18 submariners, including three officers, are trapped inside the submerged kilo class submarine INS Sindhurakshak.

At least 16 fire tenders from the Naval Dockyard as well as Mumbai city along with a team of Naval experts are reported to be carrying out the rescue operations.

The injured have been admitted to the INHS Ashwini Hospital for treatment.

The INS Sindhurakshak was 15 to 20 metres away from the jetty in the sea when an explosion onboard caused a fire that led to unspecified damage.

The submarine has submerged at her berth with only a portion visible above the surface.

A Board of Inquiry is being instituted to investigate into the causes of the accident.

Armed with its latest multi-role missile system, radar and electronics, the submarine was to be the backbone of the Indian Navy.

The submarine was fitted with the Club-S multi-role missile system capable of eliminating targets at a distance of over 250 kilometres.

The submarine was under consideration to be equipped with the Brahmos cruise missiles.

INS Sindhurakshak, a Type 877EKM in Russia, was constructed at St. Petersburg in 1997.

The submarine was designed to patrol and to protect naval communications, assault warships, enemy submarines, land targets and perform naval reconnaissance.

It is one of the quietest diesel-electric submarines in the world mainly intended for anti-ship and anti-submarine operations.

These submarines have a displacement of 3,000 tonnes, a maximum diving depth of 300 meters, top speed of 18 knots, and are able to operate for 45 days without refueling.

10 Kilo-class submarines were constructed in Russia's shipyards for the Indian Navy from 1985-2000.

--ANI (Posted on 14-08-2013)

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