NEW DELHI, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - The Indian Navy's dieselelectric submarine "Sindurakshak" sank at the registry port of Mumbai on Wednesday after a fire broke out on board, the Times of India reported.
According to India's Defense Ministry, there could be 18 crewmembers on board the submarine. They quickly abandoned the vessel. "It still remains probable, however, that several people found themselves in a trap. Details are being ascertained," the paper quotes the Defence Ministry's announcement.
Press data have it that after the fire, which broke out shortly before midnight on Tuesday, an explosion occurred on board the Sindurakshak. Efforts are under way to find out the causes of the emergency.
According to Nadezhda Shcherbinina, spokesperson of “Zvyozdochka” military shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia, where the submarine had been redesigned, all the seven Russian specialists – five “Zvyozdochka” representatives and two employees of contractor enterprises operating the submarine – are alive and well. She said that when the accident happened at night, they were at the hotel.
An urgent consultation on the Mumbai tragedy will be held today at the shipyard enterprise in Severodvinsk. “’Zvyozdochka’ for its part is ready to provide full assistance in investigating and specifying the reasons of the incident,” the shipyard’s spokesperson noted.
What have been done with the Indian submarine in Russia
Sindhurakshak submarine was built in 1997 by Admiralty Shipyards in Saint Petersburg by order of Indian Navy. The submarine has been redesigned in “Zvyozdochka” ship repairing centre /part of United Shipbuilding Corporation JSC/ in Severodvinsk and left for Mumbai in January 2013.
The agreement between “Zvyozdochka” and India’s Defense Ministry has been signed in June 2010. In August 2010 the submarine arrived to Severodvinsk. As reported by the shipyard’s press service, the submarine was equipped with a modern missile complex - Club-S. More than 10 Indian and foreign systems have been also installed, among them – Ushus sonar complex and СCS-MK-2 radio communications system.
The shipyard has also upgraded the cooling system, installed Porpoise radar set and implemented several other upgrades to boost combat qualities and operation safety of the submarine.
In June 2012, the submarine was launched. In November-December, the ship successfully carried out the factory tests program on ranges in the White Sea.