Rescuers from the Indian Navy on Monday extricated one more body from INS Sindhurakshak, taking the number of victims recovered from the fire-devastated submarine to seven even as professional savers from reputed companies commenced preliminary survey activities.
According to naval sources, the body has been taken to state-run J J Hospital for postmortem. Battling difficult conditions, the Navy had until Sunday extricated badly charred bodies of six of the 18 victims trapped in the sunken vessel. Also, they had managed to gain access to the forward compartment of the ill-fated submarine by breaking open the jammed hatches.
Earlier, sources had said the navy divers were carrying out the task of searching within the submarine by "feeling each inch" due to zero visibility within flooded compartments to locate the missing bodies and mark a probable route to be used for further rescue operations.
Eighteen navy personnel, including three officers, were on board the Russia-made submarine when a devastating fire ripped through the frontline underwater craft following serial explosions on Tuesday midnight. The navy has instituted a Board of Inquiry to probe the cause of the explosions and fire which is expected to submit its report within four weeks.
The Mumbai police have also registered a case of accidental death in connection with the worst peacetime tragedy suffered by the navy.
The navy medical authorities had also started the process of collecting blood samples of family members of the 18 personnel who died aboard the vessel. The blood samples would be needed for DNA profiling of the incinerated bodies of the victims, to establish the identities.
Image: Salvage operations going on at the dockyard
Photograph: Sahil Salvi