INS Sindhurakshak explosion: How the events unfolded
Admiral DK Joshi said initial findings say there was no sabotage, but the possibility of a sabotage cannot be ruled out.
Mumbai: 5:00 pm: Admiral DK Joshi said initial findings say there was no sabotage, but the possibility of a sabotage cannot be ruled out.
4:57 pm: Admiral DK Joshi said, "Amongst the officers missing was the second in command. The submarine had its full outfit of torpedoes and weapons."
4:50 pm: "This submarine has a full capacity of 58 personnel, during the time of incident only 18 personnel were in the submarine," Admiral Joshi said.
4:47 pm: Admiral DK Joshi also said that three sailors were on the outer casing of the submarine and have suffered minor injuries.
4:38 pm: He said the Navy is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst as there has been no communication with the sailors yet. "Out of three officers, 2 officers are married, out of 15 sailors, six sailors are married. We should hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst," he said.
4:33 pm: Admiral DK Joshi said Navy divers are trying to enter INS Sindhurakshak. "We need to pump out the water, only then the boat will come to surface," he said. "The main hatch of the submarine has been opened, trying to open other hatches," Admiral DK Joshi added.
4:30 pm: Admiral DK Joshi said three officers and 15 other crew members were on board the submarine. He added that it is still not clear as to what caused the explosion and fire.
4:29 pm: Chief of Navy Staff Admiral DK Joshi said there were two rapid explosions which resulted in a major fire.
4:11 pm: Defence Minister AK Antony expressed his condolences to the families of the personnel who have died in the INS Sindhurakshak tragedy. "I extend all humanly possible assistance to members of the sailors' family," Antony said, addressing a joint press conference with the Maharashtra Chief Minister and the Chief of Naval Staff.
3:26 pm: Defence Minister AK Antony has reached the Naval dockyard to assess the situation and inspect the rescue and salvage operation.
3:06 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is inspecting the ongoing salvage operation.
2:56 pm: Navy sources say that Navy divers are trying to enter the submarine from the tail section, which is a little above the water line. Sources say the Navy expects that some of the sailors may have moved to the tail section.
1:18 pm: Sources say the fire on board the INS Sindhurakshak has now been extinguished. However, there is still no information on the 18 Navy personnel trapped inside.
12:48 pm: Sources say the fire brigade will be probing the cause of the INS Sindhurakshak fire. The Navy has asked the fire brigade to assist it since fire brigade was the first responder along with the Navy's own self contained fire team.
12:18 pm: The INS Sindhurakshak incident has now come up in the Rajya Sabha with MPs demanding a statement from the government. Congress MP Rajiv Shukla said in the Rajya Sabha that a statement will be made after Defence Minister Ak Antony is back from Mumbai.
11:38 am: Defence Minister AK Antony has briefed PM Manmohan Singh on the INS Sindhurakshak fire and has said some Navy personnel have died. "I have apprised the PM of the incident. I'm going to the spot. The Naval Chief is already there. I'm saddened by the incident as many Navy personnel lost their lives," Antony says.
11:31 am: Defence Minister AK Antony will visit Mumbai on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
11:03 am: Sources are now indicating that some Navy personnel on board the submarine may have died. However, there is still no confirmation on this.
10:46 am: Sources say some sailors on board the INS Sindhurakshak may have jumped off to safety while 18 remained trapped. Sources also say that a gas leak (hydrogen and oxygen) may be the reason behind the explosion on the submarine.
10:43 am: Chief of Navy Staff Admiral DK Joshi has reached Mumbai to assess the situation.
10:37 am: Sources say INS Sindhurakshak is an operational submarine and that there were torpedoes and missiles with warheads on board.
10:08 am: Sources say a blast may have taken place in the torpedo room of INS Sindhurakshak at 1 am. Sources also say that there has been no damage to any other ship or submarine.
10:03 am: Sources say the Vice Chief of Naval Staff is briefing Defence Minister AK Antony on the incident.
9:58 am: Sources say the rear part(tail) of the submarine visible, the front portion of the submarine has gone down.
9:54 am: Defence Minister AK Antony is likely to make a statement on the incident in Parliament.
9:46 am: The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral DK Joshi, has left for Mumbai to take stock of the situation.
9:39 am: Retired Commodore and Defence Analyst C Uday Bhaskar said the focus at the moment is on the safety of the 18 personnel trapped on board the submarine.
9:29 am: It's been nine hours since fire broke out on the submarine, but there is still no clarity on the condition of 18 personnel trapped inside.
9:15 am: Latest emerging visuals are indicating that multiple blasts could have taken place outside the INS Sindhurakshak.
9:01 am: Officials say the latest visuals suggest that the submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, is largely submerged in water after a major fire broke out on board following an explosion. Meanwhile, efforts are on to rescue 18 personnel feared trapped on board the submarine.
A major fire broke out on board the INS Sindhurakshak submarine at the Mumbai Naval Dockyard late on Tuesday night. Officials say that an explosion caused the fire, but the cause of the explosion is not yet known.
Officials are puzzled after seeing the footage of the explosion. They say the visuals indicate that multiple blasts seem to have taken place outside the submarine.
There is no clarity on whether the fire is under control, but 18 personnel who were on board at the time of the incident are still feared to be trapped inside.
Efforts are on to ascertain their safety and salvage the submarine. At least 16 fire tenders are at the location apart from Navy's internal fire fighting team.
The Navy divers are also on the spot to ensure the safety of the personnel on board the submarine. It is a battle against time as the oxygen inside the submarine is limited for the people who are trapped inside.
A board of inquiry has been formed to investigate the case. Officials say the submarine is largely submerged under water now and a large part of it has been gutted.
"I heard a loud sound and then I saw smoke and fire," said an eyewitness. "I was at work when I heard a loud sound. The sky had turned red," another eyewitness said.
Sequence of events:
12.10am: Fire breaks out on submarine after an explosion
12.30am: 6 fire tenders rushed to the Naval dockyard
2 am: Naval officers briefed on the situation
6 am: 16 fire tenders sent to the dockyard
7 am: Officials confirm submarine is gutted
7.20 am: Navy divers prepared to rescue personnel, inspect site
File pictures of INS Sindhurakshak