The blast shortly after midnight was heard ashore by Deputy Chief Fire Officer P S Rahandale who was on leave.
Rahandale, who showed a presence of mind, said today he saw a huge explosion on a ship near Gateway of India while returning home after attending a private engagement.
The officer said he immediately alerted his superiors about the tall flames that was leaping from the ill-fated vessel. "....I saw a huge explosion on a ship and because of my experience whatever I saw I thought it is going to be a big one and because of that maximum resources were immediately deployed," Rahandale told TV channels.
Rahandale said that as he reached closer to the mishap spot he saw one sub was engulfed in fire while another sub which was about 8 to 15 feet away was "partially" on fire.
Rahandale said his team of firemen and Navy's Fire brigade personnel immediately "attacked" the flames that were near the second sub. From the dozens of fire tenders a wall of high-pressure stream of water was built between INS Sindhurakshak and the second sub with the help of eight to nine water cannons.
"Because of timely intervention of my team, my resources along with Navy resources we could save that second submarine," Rahandale said.
Naval Chief Admiral D K Joshi said the flames that leapt from the sinking vessel touched the outer casing of the second sub-also a Sindhughosh-class submarine like INS Sindhurakshak. There was no damage to the second sub, he said, adding the vessel was quickly taken to safety.