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Problem batteries likely cause of fatal Indian submarine fire: Reports

Published on Feb 28, 2014 4:04 PM
 
An Indian Navy submarine, believed to be the Russian-built INS Sindhuratna, is seen anchored at the naval dockyard as a fire truck (partially obscured) and support crew are pictured in the background in Mumbai, on Feb 27, 2014. Malfunctioning and ageing batteries were the likely cause of fire on an Indian submarine that left two dead this week, reports said on Friday, Feb 28, 2014, amid warnings that the navy is "on the verge of breakdown".  -- PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI (AFP) - Malfunctioning and ageing batteries were the likely cause of fire on an Indian submarine that left two dead this week, reports said on Friday, amid warnings that the navy is "on the verge of breakdown".

Wednesday's accident on board the Russian-built INS Sindhuratna, the latest in a string of naval mishaps, left seven crew members injured, while two bodies were found after the stricken submarine docked in Mumbai on Thursday.

While the vessel had undergone a refit earlier this year, the batteries that powered it underwater had not been replaced because of contracting delays, The Hindu daily said, citing "highly placed navy sources".

The newspaper said hydrogen leaking from the batteries was thought to have caused the explosion.

 
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