New Delhi: The Indian Navy today said that the bodies of five of 18 sailors who were inside the INS Sindhurakshak when it went up in flames have been found, but cautioned that it does not expect divers battling zero visibility in the dark muddied waters inside the sunken submarine to locate any of the others. (List of 18 personnel who were on board the submarine)
Three bodies were found this morning on the diesel-powered submarine and are "severely disfigured and not identifiable due to severe burns," a Navy statement said (Read). It added that DNA tests will be conducted for identification.
A fourth sailor was found two hours later. The fifth body was found this evening.
The bodies have now been taken to the JJ Hospital where they will undergo DNA tests.
The Navy has cautioned that "conditions within the submarine leads to firm conclusion that finding any surviving personnel within the submarine is unlikely... however, the Navy will 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."
Naval divers have been using high-power underwater lamps for nearly 36 hours to search the INS Sindhurakshak, but the heat and pressure generated by the explosions on Wednesday night have created a mass of twisted metal.
Parts of the internal hull had melted, blocking access to different compartments. "Only one diver could work at a time to clear the path to gain access," the Navy said.
The explosions took place in the vessel's forward section, where its torpedoes and missiles are stored.
The 16-year-old submarine, which had suffered an accident in 2010, had recently returned from Russia after a two-and-a-half year upgrade of its electronic warfare and integrated weapons control systems.