heon Sunday said that they have gained access to the forward compartment of the ill-fated submarine INS Sindhurakshak by breaking open the jammed hatches.
However, there were no reports of any more bodies being located in the vessel till now. Battling difficult conditions, the rescuers from Indian Navy had till Saturday extricated six bodies of victims from the.
A release issued by the Indian Navy said in Mumbai on Sunday that professional salvers from reputed companies have commenced preliminary survey activities. The present state of the submarine and various options for salvage are being assessed.
The naval command in Visakhapatnam has also established a similar family support cell, as in Mumbai, to interact with the family members of the crew who could not travel to Mumbai, the release said. 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.
18 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. 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.