Last Rank: LS UC I
Unit: INS Sindhurakshak
Date of Martyrdom : Aug 14, 2013
LSUC I – Kewal Singh was (27) was the son of Sagar Singh born in a village Kheen Bheen,Ramnagar in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. LSUC I Kewal Singh was married and had a six-month-old daughter when he lost his life in the horrific accident in INS Sindhurakshak.
LSUC I Kewal Singh is survived by his parents , grandparents ,wife and daughter.
INS Sindhurakshak Disaster : August 2013
On 14 Aug 2013, LS UC I Kewal Singh was on-board INS Sindhurakshak, the 3000-tonne Kilo class submarine, powered by a combination of diesel generators and electric batteries. On that day, the submarine at Naval dockyard in Mumbai was rocked by a series of explosions and started sinking along with 18 crew members with 3 officers and 15 sailors.
It was an accident in the fully-loaded weapons compartment of INS Sindhurakshak that caused things to spiral out of control with some missile and torpedo warheads exploding in “sympathetic detonation”. The Kilo-class submarine, with a full complement of 18 missiles and torpedoes, was slated to head for “a long deployment patrol” on August 14 itself.
The Navy swung into action to rescue the trapped personnel however their struggle to save them became harder as the submarine was filled with muddy and murky water and the visibility was extremely poor. Due to water filling, an extremely restricted access was available and most of the equipment from their original locations were also displaced. The heat of the explosion had melted parts of the internal hull deforming the submarine hatches and prevented access to the compartments.
The Naval divers were able to prise open the conning tower, which was fused shut due to the heat of the blast, to enable rescuers to enter. Heavy duty pumps were used to pump out the water from the submarine however it took considerable time to locate the crews of the submarine . By 19th August 7 of 18 missing sailors’ bodies were recovered while another 6 were recovered by 31st of August.