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Russian specialists not allowed to sunken submarine site in Mumbai

August 16, 2013, 8:54 UTC+3

Member of a working group from Severodvinsk: "I was told that we would not be allowed there soon"

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NEW DELHI, August 16 (Itar-Tass) - Specialists of the working group from the Severodvinsk-based ship repair centre Zvyozdochka are not allowed to the submarine accident site for the third day, a member of the group told Itar-Tass on Friday. The diesel-powered submarine Sindhurakshak, which sank in the port of Mumbai, was repaired and modernized at the Severodvinsk centre.

"I was told that we would not be allowed there soon," the specialist said. "All my attempts are in vain."

The submarine sank after blasts and a fire on board on the night to Wednesday. According to the preliminary information, a fire broke out aboard the submarine and caused two explosions in the torpedo section. Among the versions of the disaster are an explosion caused by hydrogen discharge during battery charging and an error in missile loading. Indian Navy Chief of Staff Devendra Kumar Joshi said there was no evidence of sabotage. However, it must not be ruled out. A source close to the Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass that there was no information either to confirm a terrorist attack version, though some media have written about it.

The Sindhurakshak submarine was built in 1997 at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg for the Indian Navy. It was modernized at the Zvyozdochka ship repair centre in Russia's Severodvinsk and on April 29 arrived in the port of Mumbai. The submarine had a modern Club-S missile system and ten Indian and foreign-made systems, including a hydro acoustic Ushus and a Porpoise radar station. Its cooling systems were modernized.

There were no Russians aboard the submarine when the fire and explosions occurred.

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