Two officers, who were missing since fire broke out on board INS Sindhuratna submarine on Wednesday, have died, the Navy confirmed on Thursday.
The deceased officers - Lt Commander Kapish Muwal and Lt Manoranjan Kumar - were declared missing on Wednesday after the fire mishap on board the 25-year-old Indian Navy submarine that left seven other sailors unconscious. The two naval officers are said to have been trapped in one of the compartments of the submarine.
Seven sailors, who were found unconscious from suffocation, were airlifted to a Navy hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday, while two were recorded as "unaccounted for". The fire reportedly broke out in the crew accommodation area of the submarine, which was undergoing a sea test about 50 kilometres off the Mumbai coast.
The Russian-built Kilo Class submarine was docked safely at the Mumbai harbor after the mishap. The warship was not carrying any weapon when the incident happened, as it was still being tested and not yet placed under operational command.
Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned on Wednesday, taking moral responsibility for the mishap. Defence Minister AK Antony said that he consulted the Prime Minister after the upset Navy Chief asked him to accept his resignation immediately.
The Indian Navy has been dogged with accidents of late, Sindhuratna submarine fire being the 10th mishap in the last few months. An explosion on INS Sindhurakshak submarine killed 18 sailors in August last year, and INS Airavat, an amphibious warfare vessel, ran aground earlier this month.