Thursday, February 27, 2014

India's navy chief quits over submarine accident

India's navy chief has resigned after an accident on a submarine off the coast of Mumbai. Two officers are missing and 7 are hospitalized.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi resigned on Wednesday to take responsibility for the accident and other recent incidents involving navy vessels.

The INS Sindhuratna was about 80 kilometers off the Mumbai coast when smoke swept through the navy vessel. Seventy crewmembers were on board.

Seven sailors were airlifted to a hospital for breathing difficulties and 2 others are likely trapped inside the submarine.

In August last year, a dockside blast in Mumbai killed all 18 sailors on board another submarine.

The cause of both incidents is unknown.

Indian media blame the navy for lack of crew training and its ageing fleet.

The accidents come as India is strengthening its naval force to counter China's increased maritime activity.