The Indian defense minister says there were fatalities when a diesel-powered navy submarine caught fire and sank early Wednesday, trapping as many as 18 sailors.
A.K. Antony did not give details in Wednesday's statement, saying only that he feels sad about those navy personnel who lost their lives in the service of their country.
An explosion ignited the fire on the recently refurbished INS Sindhurakshak and left the sub half-submerged at its berth in a Mumbai dockyard. A navy spokesman said the blast appeared to be an accident. Emergency officials extinguished the fire and are attempting to rescue survivors.
The incident aboard the Sindhurakshak comes just days after India announced the reactor on its first home-built nuclear submarine is now operational.