Early on Friday morning, naval divers located and extricated three severely disfigured bodies from the second compartment of INS Sindhurakshak – a kilo class submarine that sank at the Naval dockyard in Mumbai after two blasts ripped through its hull on Tuesday night. The bodies could not be identified because of the severe burns, said Navy officials.
Indian Navy now believes that its worst fears have come true and it is unlikely to find any survivors from the submerged submarine.
The Navy also came out with a statement, which said that “the state of these two bodies and conditions within the submarine leads to firm conclusion that finding any surviving personnel within the submarine is unlikely”.
This is for the first time that the Indian Navy has got first-hand confirmation of fatality since two massive explosions rocked INS Sindhurakshak.
The Navy release said that the bodies were shifted to INHS Asvini where a DNA identification test would be carried to identify the crewmembers. (READ: )
The damage and destruction within the submarine around the control room area indicates that the feasibility of locating bodies of personnel in the forward part of the submarine is also very remote as the explosions and very high temperatures, which melted steel within, would have incinerated the bodies too, said Navy officials.
But Indian Navy officials said that the divers would continue to search every inch of the submerged submarine till all bodies are either located or it can be stated with finality that no bodies remain to be found. (READ: )
The Navy is presently concentrating on reaching the interiors of the submarine to locate and extricate any remaining bodies that may still be trapped within.
Indian Navy submarine INS Sindhurakshak on fire in Mumbai following an explosion in the Naval Dockyard. (Reuters Photo)
Salvage of the submarine would only be attempted thereafter for which many alternatives including deploying professional salvers are also being considered. However, presently, gaining access to the submarine and locating bodies are the top priority, said Navy officials.
The Navy has also alerted the family members of all the 18 missing personnel, and being provided regular updates through constant interaction by the family cell of the Navy headed by a two-star flag officer. (READ: )
INS Sindhurakshak was returned in January by a Russian shipyard after a Rs. 480-crore overhaul meant to increase the warship’s life by 10 years.
Built in 1997 at St Petersburg, Russia, in 1997, the submarine was designed to patrol and to protect naval communications, assault warships, submarines and land targets, and perform naval reconnaissance. (READ: )