Human error possible in submarine tragedy: Navy Chief

New Delhi: Nearly 18 months after an explosion on board submarine INS Sindhurakshak sunk the vessel, killing 18 personnel, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan on Wednesday indicated that human error besides other factors could have led to the tragedy.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 03, 2014, 18:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Nearly 18 months after an explosion on board submarine INS Sindhurakshak sunk the vessel, killing 18 personnel, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan on Wednesday indicated that human error besides other factors could have led to the tragedy.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, he noted that a submarine is a "dangerous platform" because it has explosives, fuel and a lot of equipment.

"In this environment, when procedures don't get followed, there is a room for error. And whenever there is a room for error, accidents take place. So, this is a situation like that where (while) carrying out a particular activity, procedures were not being followed," he said.

The submarine met with the accident on August 14, 2013. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had last month said in a written reply in Parliament that the examination of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) in the case has not been completed yet. The BOI report is still with the Naval headquarters, he had said.

Dhowan said, "The BOI is in its process of evaluation. What I can share with you is that there are aspects related to procedures which need to be followed when you are handling equipment, ammunition or a submarine."

He said that the navy is a technologically advanced service where you have standard operating and safety procedures laid down for every aspect.

"If an emergency is not tackled in the way it is supposed to be tackled, it perhaps can lead to situations," he said.

Asked if the accident was due to human error, Dhowan said it was a "very, very serious accident" as an explosion was not normally expected to happen in a submarine.