Indian navy chief quits over submarine accident

A search continued for two officers after smoke filled parts of submarine on a training exercise off the Mumbai coast.


Agencies February 26, 2014
“Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi today resigned,” said Indian defence ministry spokesperson. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

MUMBAI: Indian Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi resigned on Wednesday, taking personal responsibility for a string of operational failures, the latest of which saw two sailors missing and another seven injured on board a Russian-built submarine, INS Sindhuratna off Mumbai.

“Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi today resigned,” said Narendra Kumar Vispute, a spokesman for the defence ministry.

The government said in a statement that it had accepted the resignation of Admiral Joshi, who will be replaced on an acting basis by Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral RK Dhowan.

A search continued for the two officers after smoke filled parts of a Russian-built submarine on a training exercise off the Mumbai coast in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Smoke was detected aboard the submarine in the spate of accidents, which came after 18 naval crew were killed last August when another fully-armed submarine exploded in flames and sank in a military shipyard in Mumbai.

Seven sailors suffered breathing problems after trying to contain smoke which filled the living quarters of the INS Sindhuratna during a training exercise on Wednesday, according to the navy.

“The incident took place between 6am and 7am. The crew contained the smoke but seven of them had to be airlifted by naval helicopters. They are all stable,” Vispute said, without elaborating on the cause of the incident.

Two crew members are still missing from the Russian-built Sindhuratna, which was still seaworthy after the incident and was returning to port in Mumbai, the navy said.

Last August, a dockside blast in Mumbai killed all 18 aboard another submarine, raising concerns over India’s ageing fleet and crew training.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2014.

COMMENTS (10)

AAP | 7 years ago | Reply

Good finally India government will wake to Navy's need and purchase more nuclear subs to replace the dinosaur era subs. Naval infrastructure needs to be improved, every irresponsible individual from armed forces to ministry should be sacked for this.

Mohammad Abrar | 7 years ago | Reply

The Indian Navy had ordered 6 air-independent propulsion - Scorpène class submarines from France at a price tag of USD 3 Billion, which are under production at Mazagon Docks in India. 1 Submarine will be joining every year from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Along with the Scorpène's India has at least a dozen of Russian & German Origin Submarines and at lest 2 Commissioned Nuclear Submarines ( INS Arihant and INS Chakra ). Work on another Nuclear Submarine INS Aridhaman has begun at Shipbuilding Centre Visakhapatnam and will be commissioned latest by 2017, while India is actively negotiating with Russia for another Nuclear Submarine which could be named Charka-II.

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