Three more bodies have been recovered from INS Sindhurakshak – a kilo class submarine that sank at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai after two blasts ripped through its hull on August 13.
“Over the past three days, we have been receiving one body each day for a post mortem. The cause of death has been reserved until the histopathology [the microscopic examination of tissue] and other forensic reports arrive. The bodies are intact with spinal cords,” said Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital in Byculla.
Sources at the hospital said that on initial examination, the cause of death seemed to be burns.
On August 19, the hospital had received the seventh body for a post mortem.
The process to identify the body has been initiated. Doctors at JJ Hospital’s forensic department have collected teeth and bone samples for DNA identification which they have sent to the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).
Dr Lahane said the post mortem on the 10 bodies had been completed and they were lying at the hospital’s morgue. “We have not handed over the bodies to the Navy,” Dr Lahane said.
According to sources, the hospital also took X-ray scans of the bones to see if any shrapnel was lodged.
INS Sindhurakshak was returned in January by a Russian shipyard after a Rs480-crore overhaul meant to increase the warship’s life by 10 years. Built in 1997 at St Petersburg, Russia, the submarine was designed to patrol and to protect naval communications, assault warships, submarines and land targets, and perform naval reconnaissance.
There were 18 navy personnel on board when the submarine sank. The cause for the blasts has not been ascertained.