Nearly three weeks after naval submarine Sindhurakshak sank with 18 personnel on board, sources said that the hope of finding any mortal remains of seven naval personnel are fading.
It is suspected that these seven naval employees were in that part of the submarine where the blasts took place, causing maximum damage. The sources, however, said there is no evidence to buttress this.
Navy personnel who remain untraced will not be termed as ‘missing’ or ‘dead’, but as ‘martyrs’ in records.
The submarine sank on August 13. Of the 11 whose mortal remains have been found, six were identified while mortal remains of five have been sent for forensic examination. A report is expected in a few days.
Meanwhile, divers are not taking the risk of entering the sunk submarine as their is a threat of explosion of live missiles.
Defence public relations officer Nandkumar Vispute said, “Parts of the submarine have melted due to heat following a missile explosion. We have little or no hope of finding any more body parts. But search operations will continue as will salvage operations to get the sunk submarine out.”
The salvage operation, being carried out by five companies, is estimated to cost Rs500 crore. Several international companies are also assisting India in salvaging the submarine.
Considering the damage caused to the submarine, navy sources said that the submarine would have to be scrapped.
It is estimated that 90 per cent of arms inside the vessel are destroyed. The salvage operation will continue throughout this month.