Two Indian naval officers who went missing after a submarine accident off the coast of Mumbai have been found dead, the defence ministry said Thursday.
Wednesay’s incident on board the Russian-built INS Sindhuratna, the latest in a string of naval mishaps, also left seven crew members injured and led the chief of naval staff to resign.
“The two officers who were earlier declared missing have been located in the (submarine) compartment and after examination by Medical Officers both the officers were declared dead,” said an emailed statement.
Navy chief D.K. Joshi announced Wednesday night he was standing down to take “moral responsibility” for recent accidents.
The seven crew members were airlifted to hospital with breathing problems after smoke began to fill the living quarters of the submarine during a training exercise on Wednesday.
The accident follows a disaster in August last year, in which 18 sailors were killed when the fully-armed submarine INS Sindhurakshak exploded in flames and sank in a military shipyard in Mumbai.
Various other naval accidents reported in recent months included a submarine running aground in Mumbai’s harbour, fires on a minesweeping vessel and an aircraft carrier, and a collision between a frigate and a fishing boat.
The Sindhuratna had docked in Mumbai on Thursday morning, allowing the navy to ventilate the vessel and step up their search for the missing pair.