Finding any survivor is unlikely, says Navy; Russian officers monitor operations

The bodies of five sailors of INS Sindhurakshak were recovered by the Navy on Friday. The submarine sank with 18 crew members after explosions at the naval dockyard here at midnight Wednesday.

The Navy admitted that finding any survivor in the vessel was unlikely. “The state of these bodies and the conditions within the submarine lead [us] to a firm conclusion that finding any surviving personnel… is unlikely,” it said in a statement.

The bodies were not identifiable because of severe burns. They were sent to the naval hospital, INHS Asvini, for possible DNA identification.

The Navy said the possibility of finding bodies in the front portion of the vessel was highly unlikely.

The operation by naval divers has run into serious challenges. The hot water in the submarine prevented their entry till very late. Access to the inner compartments was made almost impossible by jammed doors and hatches, distorted ladders, oily and muddy waters that resulted in total darkness, which even high-power underwater lamps could not dispel. Distorted and twisted metal within a very restricted space further worsened the conditions.

Four officers from Russia have arrived in Mumbai and are monitoring the operations, a source in the Navy told The Hindu .

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