Two missing naval officers bodies found

The two missing naval officers attached to “INS Sindhuratna”, were found dead in the sealed compartment of the submarine which suffered a gas leak in the early hours of Wednesday, off Mumbai shores during a routine familiarisation training of the crew.

An official communiqué from the Navy issued late Thursday afternoon stated: “The two officers who were earlier declared missing have been located in the compartment and after examination by medical officers both the officers were declared dead.”

An inquiry committee headed by a Rear Admiral, instituted to look into the cause of all incidents, has already commenced its proceedings; the committee would also recommend steps for continuing safe operations of submarines, the statement added.

The deceased officers are Lieutenant Commander Kapish Munwal and Lieutenant Manoranjan Kumar. The submarine which developed technical complications in the battery room resulting in toxic smoke seeping inside the sailor’s accommodation compartment of sailors, returned to Mumbair Naval Harbour in the wee hours of Thursday.

Seven sailors while combating the smoke and fire complained of severe breathing problems soon after managing to seal the battery compartment. They were airlifted and rushed to Naval Hospital in Mumbai where they were treated for toxic fumes inhalation.

Apart from the two missing officers, the crew aboard “INS Sindhuratna”, a Kilo class-Russian origin submarine, was reported to be safe and the submarine was brought back from the training sector 50 km in Arabian Sea off Mumbai shores.
Tenth incident

Wednesday’s accident is the tenth such incident involving Western Naval Command; the biggest accident occurred in August 14 last year at Mumbai harbour when a major explosion inside “INS Sindhurakshak” submarine led to its sinking, killing 18 personnel on board at the time.

A month back, “INS Sindhugosh” barely escaped from running aground while trying to enter Mumbai harbour during low-tide; earlier, the commanding officer of “INS Airavat”, an amphibious warfare vessel, was stripped off his command duties after the vessel scraped the sea-bed.

In the same period, near Ratnagiri coast, “INS Talwar”, a stealth frigate, ploughed through a fishing vessel and near Mumbai Naval base, “INS Betwa”, a guided missile frigate, ran aground without checking out the tide chart. In both the cases the captains were removed from the command position.

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