A wall of water,5 metres high and as much wide,helped protect the Sindhuratna,a submarine berthed seven feet from the burning Sindhurakshak in the naval dockyard. Fire brigade officers sprayed water from their fire hoses to create a jet fountain-like structure.
Five jets of water were dedicated to dousing the Sindhurakshaks flames while another five were placed in such a way so as to create a water curtain to reduce the heat radiating from the Sindhurakshak to the other submarine, said P S Rahangdale,deputy chief fire officer.
The water curtain was sustained for about two hours till the other submarine could be finally towed away. Because of this,we managed to save the Sindhuratna.
Fire officers said the flames on ordnance-loaded Sindhurakshak generated so much heat that a small fire started within minutes on the Sindhuratna.
After the explosion on the Sindhurakshak,a missile or a rocket was flung towards a service support base structure near the jetty. Inflammable waste in the structure caused a minor fire there too,they said.
“We were worried that the fire on the Sindhuratna would get stronger and it too would explode. It was a simultaneous operation to control both fires, said Rahangdale.
The fire brigade towed the Sindhuratna away after the small fire on it had been brought under control. This took the brigade over an hour. Dousing and cooling operations on the Sindhuratna lasted until the morning.