|Navy divers stand around the 16-year-old diesel-powered, Russian-made submarine INS Sindhurakshak, covered with a red and white sheet, at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, India, Aug. 16, 2013. Indian Navy divers have now pulled out the fourth disfigured, charred dead body from among 18 sailors who got trapped on board the ill-fated INS Sindhurakshak submarine. The navy said it was doubtful that any of the other 14 sailors aboard survived. (Xinhua/Stringer)
NEW DELHI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Indian Navy divers have now pulled out the fourth disfigured, charred dead body from among 18 sailors who got trapped on board the ill-fated INS Sindhurakshak submarine.
The submarine sank at Mumbai's naval dockyard after multiple explosions followed by a huge fire on Wednesday.
The Indian Navy has ruled out finding any more survivors from the Russia-made vessel which was recently modified at a cost of 80 million U.S. dollars.
"Considering the intensity of explosion, the heat and shock waves it must have generated inside the submarine, it would be difficult to find survivors," Submariner Commander GKK Nair said, adding that the bodies have been sent to INHS Asvini, the naval hospital, for possible DNA identification.
In fact, the Indian Navy fears the bodies of other sailors could have melted due to high temperature within the vessel following the explosions. "The damage and the destruction within the submarine around the control room area indicate that the feasibility of locating bodies of the 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 Indian Navy said in a statement.
However, the Indian Navy said that its divers would 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."
Though the Indian government did not announce the deaths earlier, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, on Wednesday expressed his condolences to the families of the dead personnel. "I extend all humanly possible assistance to members of the sailors' family," he said.
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.
However, defense sources say 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 on 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 of Andhra Pradesh.
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