by Ajai Shukla
15th Aug 13
The navy today announced that none of the 15 sailors and 3 officers, trapped in the burnt out hulk of INS Sindhurakshak, the submarine that caught on fire and exploded on Wednesday night, had been found yet.
"Navy divers have entered INS Sindhurakshak late evening 14 Aug and efforts continue round the clock to ascertain the status of the 18 trapped personnel who were inside the submarine at the time of the incident.... Trapped personnel have not yet been sighted or recovered," announced the navy today.
Even the bland language of the defence ministry press release conveys a sense of the carnage inside the stricken vessel, which is resting on the seabed at the Naval Dockyard in Colaba, Mumbai.
"The diving efforts are hampered by poor visibility inside submarine (which is filled with water), extremely restricted spaces and displacement of most equipment from their original location. The heat of the explosion has melted parts of the internal hull deforming the submarine hatches and preventing access to compartments," says the press release.
The first step is clearly to pump out the water, and the navy confirms that "heavy duty pumps are being used" for that.
"Diving and salvage operations are continuing round the clock", says the release. But with every passing minute, the chances of anyone having survived that horrific blast and the subsequent flooding is clearly dwindling.