Mumbai, Aug 16 IBNS | 2 years ago

The Indian Navy on Friday said they have recovered bodies of five sailors, out of the 18 sailors, from the wreckage of INS Sindhurakshak submarine that sank after an explosion on Wednesday.

The Navy said the bodies were 'severely disfigured'.

According to reports, the fifth body was found on Friday evening.

Earlier in the day, the Navy had said in a statement: "Three bodies have been located and extricated from the submarine from this compartment. The bodies are severely disfigured and not identifiable due to severe burns," said the Navy in a statement.

"The bodies have been sent to INHS Asvini, the naval hospital, for possible DNA identification which is likely to take some more time," it said.

With this, the Navy said finding any surviving personnel within the submarine is unlikely.

"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," said the Navy.

"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 explosion and very high temperatures, which melted steel within, would have incinerated the bodies too."

The Navy said it will however continue its search operations.

"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," it said.

The Navy said it is presently concentrating on reaching the interiors of the submarine to locate and extricate any remaining bodies that may still be trapped within.

"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 is the top priority," it said.

The Navy said families of all the 18 missing personnel have been contacted and are being provided regular updates through constant interaction by the Family Cell headed by a 2 star flag officer and members of the Navy Wives Welfare Association.

The Indian Navy on Friday released the names of 18 crewmen who were on board INS Sindhurakshak.

There were three officers and 15 sailors on the vessel.

The three officers were Nikhilesh Pal, Alok Kumar and R Venkitaraj.

The 15 sailors were Sanjeev Kumar, KC Upadhya, Timothy Sinha, Kewal Singh, Sunil Kumar, Dasari Prasad, Liju Lawrence, Rajesh Tootika, Amit K Singh, Atul Sharma, Vikas E, Naruttam Deuri, Malay Haldar, Vishnu V and Seetaram Badapalli.

In a major setback to the Navy's ambitious modernization drive, the fully armed INS Sindhurakshak, returned by Russia earlier this year after a major refit at an estimated cost of USD 80 million exploded in a Mumbai dock.

(Posted on 17-08-2013)