Mumbai: It's been 56 hours and hope is fading for the 18 Navymen trapped in the submarine, INS Sindhurakshak. There is more worry news with sources saying that the Indian Navy may be incapable with a rescue operation of this magnitude.
Sources also say that the Navy generally contracts two Singapore firms for such operations, like the previous two incidents in the past three years. But the Indian subsidiary of one of these firms has no required equipment.
Even after more than 56 hours of the twin blasts and massive fire, Navy divers have been unable to make contact or reach the men trapped because of poor visibility, restricted space and the melted hull. The Navy has released the names of the sailors, informing their families of the lack of progress made and is expected to make a statement at noon.
The rescue workers are pumping out water from the submarine, hoping to make it refloat. While sources in the Navy hope the pumping out of the water is completed in the next 24 to 48 hours, the entire salvage operation could even take up to a month.
The salvage operation is turning out to be tricky and dangerous. Heavy duty pumps are being used to pump out the water from the submarine. The heat of the explosion has melted parts of the internal hull and access to the compartments has reduced as the submarine hatches have deformed.
"The divers have been successful in entering the submarine. Efforts are on to find the eighteen Navy personnel who are still trapped inside the submarine," Defence PRO Narendra Vispute said.
The list of missing INS Sindhurakshak crew
Officers - Rank
Nikhilesh Pal - Lieutenant Commander
Alok Kumar - Lieutenant Commander
R Venkitaraj - Lieutenant commander
Sailors - Rank
Sanjeev Kumar - PO UW I
KC Upadhyay - PO UW I
Timothy Sinha - PO UW I
Kewal Singh - LS UC I
Sunil Kumar - SEA I UW III
Dasari Prasad - MECH(R) 2
Liju Lawrence - LEMP
Rajesh Tootika - LME
Amit K Singh - STD I
Atul Sharma - SEA I
Vikas E - SEA I
Naruttam Deuri - ME I
Malay Haldar - EMR II
Vishnu V - RO II
Seetaram Badapalli - LS RP I