Agencies, New Delhi. The Defence Ministry today ruled out, describing as ‘’unlikely’’, finding any survivor in the Sindhurakshak submarine tragedy while Navy divers had finally reached the second compartment behind the conning tower and extricated three bodies.
A Defence Ministry statement said diving teams had been working non-stop to reach into the compartments of the submarine since rescue operations commenced on August 14.
The boiling waters inside the submarine prevented any entry till August 14 and access to inner compartments of the submarine was made almost impossible by jammed doors and hatches, distorted ladders, oily and muddy waters inside the submerged submarine.
This resulted in total darkness and nil visibility within the submarine even with high power underwater lamps, the statement said. It said distorted and twisted metal within very restricted space due extensive internal damage caused by the explosion further worsened conditions for the divers.
‘’This resulted in very slow and laboured progress. Only one diver could work at a time to clear the path to gain access,’’ it said.
After 36 hours of continuous diving effort in these conditions, Navy divers had finally reached the second compartment behind the conning tower early today.
Three bodies had been located and extricated from the submarine from this compartment.
Fifth body recovered
Mumbai: The ‘severely disfigured’ bodies of five sailors were recovered today from the submarine which sank here on Wednesday with 18 men. Meanwhile the cuffe parade police have registered a case of accidental death in the issue.
The five bodies were found by naval divers from the 2,300 tonne INS Sindhurakshak. ‘Efforts to trace and retrieve the other 13 bodies of the sailors are underway on a war footing and we are hopeful of further recoveries by late this evening,’ an official said.