New Delhi: In wake of the blasts on the INS Sindhurakshak, the Navy has ordered extensive checks on weapon-related safety systems on all its submarines, Defence Minister A K Antony told Lok Sabha.
Making a statement in Lok Sabha on the incident in Mumbai on Saturday, he said preliminary investigations have indicated that the blasts on the submarine were caused by "possible ignition" of armament.
Reading out the statement amid din over coal file issue, he said as the "explosion and resultant damage were near instantaneous, the 18 personnel could not evacuate. Although full details are yet to emerge, the rapidity and intensity of explosion and resultant damage sustained by the submarine indicate that the personnel would not have survived."
"After the accident, the Navy has ordered an audit of Standard operating Procedures (SOPs) on all operational submarines and extensive checks on the weapon-related safety systems," Antony said.
He said "preliminary investigations indicate that the explosion was due to the possible ignition of armament. The cause of ignition is, however, yet to be established. Forensic examination would throw more light into the possible cause of ignition."
He said this would be possible only after the "partially submerged" submarine is afloat and dewatered. "A Board of Inquiry with all relevant specialists has been constituted to investigate the likely causes of the accident at the earliest."
Antony said globally-renowned salvage agencies have been approached and they are undertaking survey for salvage operations.
"There is also an offer of help from Russia, where the refit and upgrade of the submarine had been undertaken," he said.