Consequent upon Sindhuratna returning to harbour AM 27 Feb 14, a preliminary assessment of damage sustained onboard was carried out by a specialist team of HQWNC.
Based on preliminary inspection of third compartment, the likely seat of fire has been indicated as the mess deck, which is located one deck above the battery bit. Certain electrical cables were observed to be burnt/ damaged in this area. The cause for initiation of fire at this location would be ascertained in due course by the high level BoI. The preliminary inspection of third compartment thus indicates that the fire has emanated from the third compartment mess deck (sailor’s accommodation).
Status of Batteries Sindhughosh class submarines carry 240 cells, distributed equally in forward and aft battery pits. The batteries presently installed on Sindhuratna have till date completed about 113 cycles as against 200 cycles available for exploitation. Further, the life of the batteries is valid by date (stipulated life of four years, by OEM). The batteries which were being exploited by Sindhuratna at the time of incident were therefore operationally in-date.
Current Status of Battery Pit As has been brought out above, the battery pit is located in the third compartment below the mess deck. Preliminary inspection of the battery pit and the batteries therein has been undertaken and no damage has been observed thus for. Further, there are no signs to indicate any initiation of fire from the battery pit. The batteries appear to be clear of any damage and would now be put through normal checks and maintenance routines prior operationalisation.
In the meanwhile, a high level Board of Inquiry (BoI) headed by a two star Admiral has commenced the investigation to ascertain the cause leading to the incident.