Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Indian Navy submarine sinks

Indian Navy, a submarine caught fire after a massive explosion and sank in the dockyard in Mumbai early Wednesday, with the fate of 18 personnel, including three officers, on board remaining uncertain.
The explosion resulted in a major fire breaking out on board Sindhurakshak, a Russian-made submarine, shortly after midnight, defence sources said on Wednesday.
TV footage of the incident showed a huge ball of fire after the explosion lighting up the night sky in Colaba area, where the naval dockyard is located.
There were 18 persons on board the 2,300 tonne submarine, powered by a combination of diesel generators and electric batteries, a defence spokesperson said.
Defence Minister A K Antony confirmed the death on board the Kilo class warship INS Sindhurakshak but gave no details on the casualties.
"I am saddened by those naval personnel who lost their lives in the service of the country. It is a great tragedy for the Navy," Antony told reporters in Parliament House before leaving for Mumbai on Wednesday.
Earlier he briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the mishap. Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi has also reached Mumbai.
Naval sources said the blast took place in the front portion of the 16-year-old submarine which housed the torpedoes.
The navy has ordered a board of inquiry to probe the explosion and subsequent fire in the submarine, he said.
Fire tenders from the naval dockyard as well as the Mumbai Fire Brigade were immediately pressed into action, he said.
However, due to the explosion, the submarine has submerged at the dock with only a portion visible above the surface, a defence statement said.
The statement said efforts are on to ascertain the safety of the personnel and salvage the submarine.
The submarine had returned after a major upgrade programme in Russia 3-4 months ago and was capable of carrying a potent weapons package including the anti-ship 'Club' missiles.
INS Sindhurakshak was not on active duty at the time of the accident, Navy sources said.
The incident has come at a time when the Navy is faced with a depleting submarine fleet.

IBL begins in New Delhi

Jwala Gutta-led Krrish Delhi Smashers will lock horns with Ashwini Ponnappa's Pune Pistons in the tournament opener of the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) which kicks off in New Delhi on Wednesday.

It is expected to be a rollicking affair when the Indian and international stars clash with each other, playing high-octane badminton in the next 18 days to give the six franchises a chance to win the coveted title.
The opening ceremony will start at 6:30pm, which will have regular song and dance shows before the high-profile clash between Delhi and Pune begins at 8pm.
The USD one million IBL, which was affected by two postponements and a myriad of controversies, will begin at the Siri Fort sports complex, where star shuttler Saina Nehwal had clinched her Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2010.
A total of 90 matches will be played as the IBL bandwagon crosses six cities with each franchise hosting a two-day leg. The top four team will clash in the semi-finals and the winners will meet in the final on August 31 in Mumbai.
Jwala and Ashwini, who won India's first women's doubles bronze at the World Championship in 2011, will turn foes tomorrow when they led their respective teams.
Hosts Delhi boasts of Jwala as their icon player and the star doubles exponent is likely to pair up with one between the Malaysian world number two pair of Boon Heong Tan and Kien Keat Koo.
The Malaysian pair, who won the World Championships bronze and silver at Hyderabad and Paris in 2009 and 2010 respectively, is the biggest strength of the Delhi Smashers.
The format of the matches will be men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, men's singles and then mixed doubles, which means the onus will be on Jwala to take her team home in case her colleagues fail.

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