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Disasters

Fire on submarine traps 18 Indian sailors

A fire on board an Indian navy submarine has left rescuers scrambling to find 18 trapped sailors. The submarine caught fire at its home port in Mumbai following an explosion.

Rescuers frantically searched for 18 sailors trapped inside the Indian submarine early Wednesday.

"There are some people who are trapped on board, we are in the process of trying to rescue them, we suspect it to be in the range of 18," said navy spokesman PVS Satish.

"We will not give up until we get to them," Satish said.

Deadly submarine fire

India's Defense Minister A.K. Antony confirmed there were fatalities but did not give an official number.

The diesel-electric INS Sindhurakshak (pictured above in a file photo from 2006) caught fire following a large explosion shortly after midnight, Indian news channel NDTV reported. The channel broadcast grainy footage of the fierce blast which lit up the sky at the naval dockyard. The cause of the blast remains unknown.

Indian media is reporting the vessel remains half submerged in the Mumbai naval dockyard.

The 16-year-old Russian-made submarine had recently been upgraded at a Russian shipyard.

ccp/av (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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