Navy chief quits after submarine mishap

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NEW DELHI: Navy chief admiral DK Joshi today resigned, owning moral responsibility for a series of recent accidents that have put the fleet’s safety record under scrutiny.

Seven Indian Navy personnel were injured and at least two went missing today after smoke filled a compartment in the INS Sindhuratna submarine that was underwater.

The Government has accepted Adm Joshi’s resignation and the vice-admiral will be the acting chief of the navy till a new head is appointed.

Causing severe embarrassment to the navy, the accidents – 11 since the INS Sindhurakshak tragedy – have taken operational warships out of active duty and knocked some high-flying officers out of the race for top ranks.Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned Wednesday, owning moral responsibility for a string of accidents which have hit the naval vessels over the past few months.

The government has accepted his resignation with immediate effect, a defence ministry release said.

The resignation came barely hours after seven Indian Navy personnel were injured and at least two went missing after smoke filled a compartment in the INS Sindhuratna submarine that was underwater off Mumbai, about 50 nautical miles (80 km) in the Arabian Sea.

There were 94 sailors on board the submarine when smoke was reported in the sailors’ accommodation.

“Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi today resigned from the post of CNS,” the release said.

It said that the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral R.K. Dhowan, will be discharging the duties of officiating CNS, pending appointment of a successor to Admiral Joshi.

The navy has been hit by a spate of accidents over the past seven months, causing concern.

The biggest accident involved fire on the INS Sindhurakshak and the subsequent sinking of the submarine in the Mumbai harbour Aug 14 last year. All 18 personnel aboard were killed. Agencies

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