A diesel-powered Indian submarine exploded and sank early on Wednesday in a dock in Mumbai, leaving rescuers scrambling to find 18 sailors who were on board.
The INS Sindhurakshak had been returned by Russia less than a year ago after a major refit and was submerged after the accident, navy sources said.
The accident comes just days after New Delhi trumpeted the launch of its first domestically produced aircraft carrier and the start of sea trials for its first Indian-made nuclear submarine.
Grainy and shaky amateur video footage taken by a witness showed the fierce explosion which lit up the sky at the naval dockyard shortly after midnight.
"The cause of the explosion is not known. We are searching for the 18 personnel," navy spokesperson Narendra Kumar Vispute told AFP.
He said divers had been deployed once the flames were extinguished by fire trucks which rushed to the scene and battled the blaze for several hours.
"Some sailors and other personnel who were in the vicinity of the submarine have been admitted to INHS Asvini [naval hospital] with injuries," said navy spokesperson PVS Satish.
"Eighteen sailors were on board the submarine, they have not been evacuated yet," Satish told AFP.
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