Mumbai: The Indian Navy has initiated an inquiry into the accident on INS Sindhuratna submarine in which two officers were killed and seven sailors injured, an official statement said Thursday.
“A high-level inquiry headed by an officer of rear admiral rank has been constituted and has immediately commenced its proceedings to establish the cause of all incidents and to recommend steps for continuing safe operations of submarines,” the statement said.
The inquiry was initiated even as the bodies of the two officers – Lt. Commander Kapish Muwal of Najafgarh, Delhi, and Lt. Manoranjan Kumar of Jharkhand – were recovered hours after the submarine returned to Mumbai’s naval harbour more than a day after the tragedy struck early Wednesday.
Smoke had engulfed compartment No.3 in the sailors’ accommodation area when the submarine was underwater during a training mission.
Refitted and renovated in Mumbai in December 2013, INS Sindhuratna was on a routine training exercise to familiarise the crew with operations of the Russian-built vessel.
Seven personnel were injured after smoke filled the compartment.
The smoke was battled by the 94-strong crew aboard the submarine. The seven personnel who became unconscious after inhaling the smoke were airlifted to a naval hospital in Mumbai.
As a direct fallout of the incident – and around 10 others involving other Indian Navy vessels – chief of naval staff Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned owning moral responsibility.