Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declares his assets

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of a Crisis: Questions and Criticism

Read more

FOCUS

Patriots, ultra-nationalists, revolutionaries or fascists: The many faces of Ukraine's radical 'Right Sector'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Xi’s Show of Force; Labour’s Left Turn (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

How to Help? Europe divided over migrant crisis (part 1)

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Alongside migrants near Hungary’s razor wire fence

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The Elysée palace backstage

Read more

#TECH 24

The latest in fitness trackers and TaxiJet’s arrival in Abidjan

Read more

FASHION

The use of 'mapping-tracking' in fashion

Read more

Asia-pacific

Sailors feared dead after submarine sinks in Mumbai

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-14

Eighteen sailors were feared trapped after their submarine caught fire and sank at a Mumbai base early Wednesday, an Indian navy official said. Several other crew members reportedly escaped by jumping off the submarine when it blew up Tuesday night.

A huge explosion and fire that crippled an Indian navy submarine in its home port of Mumbai on Wednesday killed at least some of the 18 sailors aboard, the country’s defense minister said.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony gave no other details but said he felt sad about the loss of lives.

“It’s a loss to all of us. It’s a tragedy,” Antony told reporters before leaving for Mumbai to assess the situation.

Local TV news station Headlines Today showed video of the explosion on the diesel-powered submarine, apparently filmed by a bystander. An enormous ball of red and yellow fire rose hundreds of feet into the air.

One man standing outside the dockyard who declined to give his name said he heard a sound like a rocket or jet engine, then a blast. Another witness said the sky turned red after the explosion. Nearly a dozen fire engines rushed to the dockyard to douse the fire.

The fire was extinguished in about two hours, but a navy official said it was unclear how many sailors were killed or injured. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The official said that when the blast occurred, some sailors of other nearby units jumped into the sea in panic. He says some were injured and hospitalized.

Afterward, the sub was nearly submerged at its berth in the naval dockyard.

Navy spokesman Narendra Vispute said the cause of the explosion was being investigated.

The 16-year-old Russian-made submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, had recently returned from Russia after undergoing an overhaul and upgrade, said Rahul Bedi, an analyst for the independent Jane’s Information Group. India has 14 diesel-powered submarines, he said.

Last year, India acquired a Russian Nerpa nuclear submarine for its navy on a 10-year lease from Russia at a cost of nearly $1 billion. India also has designed and built its own nuclear submarine; the navy activated the atomic reactor on that vessel Saturday and could deploy it in the next two years.

India has steadily built up its naval capabilities in recent years, spurred by its rivalry with neighboring China.

(AP)

 

Date created : 2013-08-14

COMMENT(S)