The head of the Indian Navy has resigned after another mishap in which two officers died from suffocation after a battery malfunction on INS Sindhuratna. Seven other sailors were treated for smoke inhalation. The Kilo class submarine was conducting sea trials after a dockyard maintenance period.

The latest incident has again raised questions over the navy’s safety culture after a recent spate of fires, groundings and collisions. Since the Sindhurakshak disaster there have been nine other incidents, resulting in the dismissal of two commanding officers.

In December 2013 the frigate INS Talwar collided with a fishing boat and fire caused major damage to the dry-docked minesweeper INS Konkan. The following month the frigates INS Betwa and INS Tarkash were damaged in separate incidents after grounding and colliding with a jetty. In February there were two further groundings involving the amphibious landing ship INS Airavat and submarine INS Sindhughosh.

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