Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora
New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday confirmed the deaths of Navy personnel in multiple explosions resulting in a major fire on board INS Sindhurakshak.
After briefing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the mishap which is said to be a major setback for the Navy, the Defence Minister said he has spoken with Navy Chief DK Joshi, who is already in Mumbai.
Antony further described the incident as the greatest tragedy of recent times, confirming the loss of lives.
"I am saddened at the loss of life of naval personnel in the service of the country," Antony said.
"Navy has already ordered an enquiry" into the incident, said Antony, adding that he is flying to Mumbai now.
Earlier, a report said Antony would make a statement on the issue in Parliament today.
An explosion resulting in a major fire took place on board INS Sindhurakshak, a Kilo class submarine of the Indian Navy, shortly after midnight. The submarine sank in Mumbai early Wednesday. Eighteen personnel, including three officers, were reported to be on board at the time of the incident.
Navy Chief Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi arrived in Mumbai this morning and assessed damage to submarines and loss to the Navy.
The Navy has ordered a board of inquiry to probe the explosion and subsequent fire on board the submarine, a defence spokesperson said.