News / Asia

Bodies Found on Indian Submarine

Indian Navy personal and rescue workers stand on a dock at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, August 14, 2013.
Indian Navy personal and rescue workers stand on a dock at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, August 14, 2013.
VOA News
India's navy on Friday recovered the bodies of three of the 18 sailors trapped inside a submarine when it exploded and burst into flames earlier in the week in a Mumbai shipyard.

Officials say the other 15 sailors remain unaccounted for and it is "unlikely" any survivors will be found. 

The navy says DNA tests will be used to identify the bodies.

The blast took place Wednesday on a conventionally powered submarine, leaving the sub half submerged. Sailors on nearby vessels were sent to the hospital with burns.

During comments marking India's independence day in New Delhi Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India pays homage to the "brave hearts" lost in the incident.

The accident is one of the worst for the Indian navy since the sinking of a frigate during its war with Pakistan in 1971.

This is the second fire aboard the Russian-made INS Sindhurakshak. The first occurred in 2010 while the submarine was docked in the southern port of Visakhapatnam. One sailor died in that incident.

The Sindhurakshak fire comes just days after India announced the reactor on its first home-built nuclear submarine is now operational.

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