Navy divers recover 5 bodies from Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak
August 19, 2013 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
- Divers are scouring the submarine for the 13 remaining sailors
- Officials warn there is no hope of finding any survivors
- The INS Sindhurakshak sank after an explosion and fire this week
New Delhi (CNN) -- Navy divers have recovered five bodies so far from an Indian navy submarine that exploded and sank in Mumbai this week, authorities said Saturday.
The Indian government warned that there was almost no hope of finding any survivors among the 13 other sailors who were in the submarine when it was hit by the unexplained blast at a naval dockyard early Wednesday.
Navy divers searching the trapped submarine for three days have recovered five bodies so far.
18 feared dead in submarine explosion
Sailors feared trapped in submarine fire
Their task has been complicated by poor visibility inside the stricken submarine's passageways, which are full of oily, muddy water and wreckage. Adding to their difficulties, the heat of the explosion warped some of the hatches inside the vessel, blocking the divers' access to certain areas.
The bodies found so far are unidentifiable because they were so severely burned, authorities said. They have been taken to a naval hospital for DNA identification.
Searching 'every inch'
The state of the bodies and conditions inside the INS Sindhurakshak, a Russian-built submarine, mean that "finding any surviving personnel within the submarine is unlikely," the ministry said.
"The feasibility of locating bodies of 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," it warned.
But divers will scour through submarine until all the bodies are recovered, the ministry said.
Authorities say they have contacted the families of all the 18 missing personnel and are keeping them updated.
Worst peacetime disaster
An investigation into the explosion and fire -- the Indian navy's worst peacetime disaster -- is under way. Navy officials say they so far can't pinpoint the cause.
Salvage work on the diesel-electric submarine won't begin until the search for bodies is over, the defense ministry said.
The Sindhurakshak had recently returned from an extensive refitting in Russia before the disaster.
CNN's Harmeet Shah Singh reported from New Delhi, and Khushbu Shah from Atlanta.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.