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.
Part of complete coverage on
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
The U.S. huffing over Ukraine jars with many after recent U.S.-led interventions, writes Simon Tisdall.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is unapologetic about his government's response to opposition protesters.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
He's 12 years old and going blind -- so his parents are taking him on a trip to fill his world with beautiful images.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1357 GMT (2157 HKT)
To celebrate International Women's Day, CNN's Leading Women is inviting you to a Tweetchat.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Women journalists in the testosterone-fueled world of sports are still the target of abuse.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Photographer Zack Seckler's series presents Botswana from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique view of the savannah.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 0218 GMT (1018 HKT)
Concorde is a thing of the past, but a number of companies are racing to release the first supersonic business jet.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
From U.S. President Obama's phone call to Russian President Putin, to a python swallowing a crocodile, browse photos from last week.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Did you know that the idea to mark road surfaces reportedly came from watching a milk truck drip milk on the road?
The undersea cables wiring the Earth: this is what the Internet actually looks like.
Today's five most popular stories