Seven Navy personnel were today injured and two officers unaccounted for in a mishap on board Russian-origin Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhuratna, 80 kms off the Mumbai coast.
Dense smoke filled the cabin of the submarine in the morning when Commodore Commanding Submarine (COMCOS), Western Command, was carrying out an inspection before it was to be cleared for operational duties, a Navy officer said.
"We immediately activated our emergency firefighting exercise and seven personnel who had inhaled smoke were airlifted to a hospital. Two officials are unaccounted for. They might have been left in the cabin or at some other place as various cabins and compartments are isolated as part of the emergency measures," he said.
The injured has been admitted to the naval hospital INS Ashwini.
The submarine was underwater when the incident occurred and was later brought to the surface. As many as 70-odd officers and men were on board at that time.
This is the tenth accident involving an Indian Navy warship and the third submarine mishap in the last seven months.
Sindhuratna had recently undergone a refit in Mumbai and was handed over to Navy in December. It was to undergo two exercises, one at harbour and another at sea, before it was to be given operational clearance. It was at 'Task 2 (exercise at sea)' when the mishap occurred.
Sources have attributed the incident to a leakage in the battery compartment.
They said a Board of Inquiry under a senior officer has been ordered to ascertain the reason behind the mishap.