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Rescue efforts to save 18 trapped in Sindhu Rakshak submarine

Mumbai: A fire broke out in a submarine, named Sindhu Rakshak, between Lion Gate and Seta Gate late on Tuesday night at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

CNN-IBN said that preliminary reports suggested that there was some explosive material present in the ship which may have caught fire.

The fire had been preceded by a huge blast shortly after midnight on the INS Sindhu Rakshak submarine.

Many sailors on board the submarine reportedly jumped off to safety.

"However, there is likelihood of some personnel being trapped inside. The details are being ascertained," an official defence ministry statement issued at 3.15 am said. Subsequent reports by television channels said around 18 personnel including three officers, were trapped aboard.

AFP

A fire broke out in a submarine, named Sindhu Rakshak, between Lion Gate and Seta Gate late on Tuesday night at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. AFP

Rescue operations are continuing.

The details of other casualty figures were not immediately available though some injured sailors have been rushed to naval hospital INHS Ashvini in Colaba.

The cause of the explosion and blaze, as well as the extent of damage to the submarine and naval properties, is still not known.

At least 16 fire tenders of Mumbai Fire Brigade and Mumbai Port Trust were rushed to assist the naval fire brigade to douse the conflagration, the smoke emanating from which could be seen in many parts of south Mumbai.

A fire brigade official said the blaze had been brought under control at around 3am and prevented from spreading to other vessels docked in the vicinity.

The blast was first heard ashore by deputy chief fire office PS Rahandale who was on leave and attending a private engagement near the Gateway of India promenade. He immediately alerted the fire brigade and other emergency services.

With inputs from IANS