Indian Navy divers recover sixth body of sailor from sunken submarine
Indian Navy divers have recovered the sixth disfigured and charred body from the ill-fated INS Sindhurakshak submarine which sank at Mumbai's naval dockyard, with 18 sailors on board, following a huge fire triggered by multiple explosions in the early hours of Wednesday, sources said Sunday.
"Another dead body of a sailor has been recovered from the Russia-made vessel Saturday evening, bringing the total number of dead count to six. Search is still on to find the 12 other sailors feared dead in the tragedy even though the visibility level inside the submarine is zero," the sources said.
The Indian Navy has already expressed fears that the bodies of other sailors could have melted due to high temperature within the vessel following the explosions.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony expressed his condolences to the families of the dead personnel Wednesday.
The Indian Navy has ordered a high level probe into the incident, which took place a day before India's Independence Day and only two days after India launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier, hailed as a "crowning glory" by naval officials.
Defense sources said the submarine was fully loaded when the explosion took place in the weapons' bay and the fire could have resulted due to the detonation of torpedoes or missiles on board the vessel which was not on active duty at the time of the incident.
A similar explosion in the same submarine in 2010 claimed the life of one sailor. The vessel was at the time berthed at Visakhapatnam port in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
In fact, the 16-year-old INS Sindhurakshak is one of the 10 kilo-class submarines bought from Russia and equipped with the Russian Club-S cruise missile system. India had three months ago spent some 80 million U.S. dollars to upgrade it in Russia and it' s expected to serve Indian Navy for 10 more years.