The Indian Navy Submarine Sindhuratna is heading to the Mumbai shore after it was forced to surface when smoke was detected on board. According to Navy sources, four or five sailors were rendered unconscious from suffocation and have been airlifted to a Mumbai hospital.
INS Sindhuratna was being sea tested after a refit, about 40 to 50 km off the Mumbai coast when the smoke was detected. The senior-most submarine officer of the Western Naval Command was on board. It has been told that the submarine was not carrying any weapons or ammunition.
The submarine had not been placed under operational command yet as it was still under the testing mode.
"The smoke was detected around 6 am on the submarine by the crew. As soon as the Navy Operation Centre learnt about the mishap, Navy helicopters were pressed into service. The crew was airlifted and has been admitted to the Navy hospital. The submarine is afloat and no damage has been reported. Navy crew is on board and the damage is being ascertained," Navy spokesperson told The Hindu.
Last year 18 crew members died after a major fire broke out on INS Sindhurakshak near Mumbai.