Mumbai: Three bodies out of the 18 sailors onboard INS Sindhurakshak have been found by the divers of the Indian Navy.
The bodies were recovered in a disfigured state making it impossible to ascertain the identity of the sailors.
The divers have been able to only reach the second compartment and going by the condition of the three bodies, it is unlikely that the other 15 would have survived the blast, a Navy spokesperson said in a release.
However, the spokesperson said that they will continue to search till the last compartment of the submarine.The bodies of the three sailors have been sent to IHNS Asvini for possible DNA identification.
The families of all the sailors have been contacted and are provided with regular updates, he said.
The 2,300-tonne submarine sunk in the morning hours of August 14, after two massive explosions rocked the submarine and also flooded it.
INS Sindhurakshak blast ,Trapped sailors named
New Delhi: The Indian Navy on Thursday released the names of the 18 crewmen who were present in INS Sindhurakshak, the submarine that exploded on Wednesday. The personnel include three officers and 15 sailors.
Rescuers are yet to reach the sailors who were on board when two huge explosions led to a devastating fire early on Wednesday.The families of the sailors have begun arriving in Mumbai, Indias navy chief has said.
As press release issued by the navy names the three officers who were on board the submarine and the 15 crew members.
The blast killed some of the sailors on board, Defense Minister A.K. Antony said, without providing further details.
“It is a loss to all of us. It is a tragedy,” Antony told reporters before leaving for Mumbai to assess the situation.
An Indian naval official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the navy believes there is no way anyone could have survived the intensity of the explosion and fire.
Navy divers had opened one of the submarines hatches but had not yet been able to enter the submarine because it was dark and full of muddy water.
It is not clear what caused the blasts on the diesel and electricity-powered INS Sindhurakshak. An inquiry is under way and sabotage has not been ruled out, although officials say that looks unlikely at this stage.
Officials have said efforts to reach the sailors have been hampered by poor visibility, restricted space and equipment displaced by the blasts.
The vessel is filled with sea-water and the heat of the explosion also melted parts of the internal hull, deforming the submarine hatches and preventing access to compartments.
The INS Sindhurakshak is one of the 10 Kilo-class submarines bought from Russia between 1986 and 2000. It is equipped with Russian Club-S cruise missile systems.
The Russian-built vessel had recently been upgraded at a cost of $80m (£52m) and it may have been armed with missiles and torpedoes.