Tag Archives: INS Sindhurakshak

Latest – Five bodies found in sunk submarine, survivors unlikely

Hopes of miracle fade, 4 bodies pulled out of INS Sindhurakshak

Hopes of miracle fade, 4 bodies pulled out of INS Sindhurakshak
The “severely disfigured” bodies of five sailors were recovered Friday from the submarine which sank here Wednesday with 18 men. The navy declared that finding any survivor was unlikely.

The five bodies were found by naval divers from the 2,300 tonne INS Sindhurakshak, which was recently refurbished in Russia and which suffered explosions and fire as it went down after Tuesday midnight.

“Efforts to trace and retrieve the other 13 bodies of sailors are underway on a war footing and we are hopeful of further recoveries by late this evening,” an official said.

These five were among the 15 sailors and three officers who got trapped in the submarine berthed at the Mumbai dock once disaster struck. Eight of the sailors were married.

The bodies were sent to the government-run Sir JJ Hospital for autopsy, DNA and other tests to ascertain their identity.

The search operation has slowed down as only one diver can work at a time owing to the cramped space inside the submarine.

Also, all equipment in the deep sea fighter vessel has shifted from theiroriginal location.

The navy said “the state of (the bodies) and conditions within the submarine leads to the firm conclusion that finding any surviving personnel is unlikely.

“The damage and destruction within the submarine around the control room area indicates that the feasibility of locating bodies of personnel in the forward part of the submarine is also very remote as the explosion and very high temperatures, which melted steel within, would have incinerated the bodies too,” the statement added.

The bodies extricated from the submarine “are severely disfigured and not identifiable due to severe burns”, the navy said, adding they have been sent to INHS Asvini, the naval hospital, for possible DNA identification.

This “is likely to take some more time”. It said the boiling waters inside the submarine prevented any entry till Wednesday noon.

“Access to the inner compartments of the submarine was made almost impossible due to jammed doors and hatches, distorted ladders, oily and muddy waters inside the submerged submarine resulting in total darkness and nil visibility … even with high-power underwater lamps.

“Distorted and twisted metal within very restricted space due extensive internal damage caused by the explosion further worsened conditions for the divers.

“This resulted in very slow and laboured progress,” the statement said.

After hours of “continuous diving effort in these conditions”, navy divers finally reached the second compartment behind the conning tower early Friday.

The navy said it was concentrating on reaching the interiors of the submarine to “locate and extricate any remaining bodies that may still be trapped within”.

“Salvage of the submarine would only be attempted thereafter for which many alternatives including deploying professional salvers are also being considered.

“However, presently, gaining access to the submarine and locating bodies is the top priority,” the navy said.

The heat of the explosion had melted parts of the internal hull deforming the submarine hatches, preventing access to different compartments.

Heavy duty pumps were used to pump out the seawater from the submarine.

The families of the 18 personnel were being provided regular updates.

The navy feels that some of the armaments inside the deep sea fighter vessel, stored on the rear side may be recovered undamaged as the flames did not completely gut that portion of the submarine.

Source – Times of India
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Indian submarine hit by explosion at Mumbai port

At least 18 sailors are feared to be trapped on board an Indian submarine that caught fire after an explosion in a Mumbai dockyard, officials say.

The blast occurred shortly after midnight and it took fire-fighters several hours to douse the blaze.

Officials say the diesel-powered vessel was badly damaged and remains partly submerged at its berth.

Many sailors managed to jump to safety. Rescue teams are on scene and some of the injured were taken to hospital.

It is unclear exactly what caused the explosion on the INS Sindhurakshak but dramatic images on Indian television appear to show a large fireball illuminating the sky. Smoke from the blaze could be seen in many parts of the city.

A naval inquiry has been set up to look into the causes of the incident, but officials told the BBC they suspect it to be the result of an on-board error and not an act involving any outside agency.

Russian-built vessel

“There are some people who are trapped on board, we are in the process of trying to rescue them, we suspect it to be in the range of 18,” Navy spokesman PVS Satish was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

“We will not give up until we get to them,” he added.

INS Sindhurakshak timeline

  • 1997: INS Sindhurakshak procured by Indian navy, one of the 10 vessels in the Kilo-class submarines bought from Russia between 1986-2000
  • February 2010: A fire that broke out in its battery compartment kills one sailor
  • August 2010: Submarine sent for re-fit to equip it with cruise missile systems
  • June 2012: Refit completed with refurbished hull and 10 years added to its 25-year service life
  • October 20102: Sea trials begin for submarine
  • 14 August 2013: Submarine hit by explosion and fire with sailors feared trapped inside

Officials also told the AFP news agency that divers had been deployed when the flames were put out and that they were hunting for the men on board.

The INS Sindhurakshak is said to be one of the 10 Kilo-class submarines bought from Russia between 1986 and 2000. It is equipped with Russian Club-S cruise missile system.

The vessel, which is powered by diesel and electricity, returned from Russia last year after undergoing an upgrade and sea trials began last October, reports said.

In February 2010, a sailor on board the submarine was killed by a fire that broke out in the battery compartment while the submarine was docked at the Vishakhapatnam naval base – it was later that year that it was sent to Russia for the refit.

This explosion comes just days after India’s navy launched its first home-built aircraft carrier, hailed by officials as a “crowning glory”.

Last year, India bought a Russian Nerpa nuclear submarine for its navy on a 10-year lease from Russia at cost of nearly $1bn (£645m), making it part of a select group of nations to operate nuclear-powered submarines.

India and Russia are long-time allies and Russia supplies about 70% of India’s military hardware.

Source – BBC News

Indian submarine in distress gets Egyptian help

India’s submarine INS Sindhurakshak received help from Egyptian Navy when it encountered extreme bad weather and rough sea on its way back home after mid-life up-gradation in Russia.
The Sindhurakshak, a Russian Kilo Class submarine built in 1997 at Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard in St Petersburg, underwent mid-life up-gradation.

The Egyptian Navy towed the submarine to Port Said along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in March, sources said.
Indian submarine in distress gets Egyptian help

Welcoming the gesture, Indian ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri praised the professional handling by the Egyptian Navy.
Indian submarine in distress gets Egyptian helpIn thank you cable to Egypt’s Defence and Military Production Minister Gen Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Suri said, “(Egyptian) Naval troops towed the submarine in a professional way to a safe Egyptian port”, the official MENA news agency reported.

Source – Zee News