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Explosions, fire in submarine due to possible ignition of armaments: Antony

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Explosions, fire in submarine due to possible ignition of armaments: Antony
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New Delhi: Preliminary investigations into the the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak have revealed that the "near-simultaneous" explosions that preceeded a fire which engulfed the submarine were caused by the possible ignition of its armaments.

Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said that cause of ignition is yet to be established.

"Initial assessments indicate that an internal explosion occurred in the forward compartment of the submarine where ordinance was stowed, resulting in further near-simultaneous explosions and major fire on board INS Sindhurakshak," he said.

Antony said that explosion and resultant damage were near instantaneous and 18 naval personnel, including three officers, and 15 sailors inside the submarine "could not evacuate."

He said that the submarine was rocked by a fire in the intervening night of Aug 13-14. Antony had visited Mumbai Aug 14 to obtain a first-hand account of the situation.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that the explosion was due to the possible ignition of armament. The cause of ignition is however yet to be established," Antony said.

He said visual and forensic examination would throw more light on the possible cause of ignition.

"This will be possible only after the submarine is afloat and dewatered. A board of inquiry with all relevant specialists has been constituted to investigate the likely causes of accident at the earliest," he said.

Antony also made a statement on the "unprovoked attack" near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir Aug 6 that resulted in killing of five Indian soldiers.

The minister had made a similar statement on the LoC incident in the Lok Sabha on Aug 8.

Antony said that the specialist troops of Pakistan army were involved in the attack.

IANS

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