Mumbai, Aug 15: Navy divers on Thursday launched a massive operation to trace the 18 sailors who went missing following the blasts in INS Sindhurakshak in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. The divers entered the damaged vessel but were yet to find any of the sailors who are feared dead.
The 16-year-old Russian-built submarine, which was revamped recently in Russia, was completely damaged in the twin blasts. The reason behind the blasts were yet to be ascertained.
Sources in the navy said that water was being pumped from the submarine so that it could be raised above water. It was partially submerged at a dockyard here after the blasts.
Admiral D K Joshi said on Wednesday that one can only hope for the best but must remain prepared for the worst. Not many in the official circles believe that the sailors could have survived the massive blasts that had lit up the dark sky above the base. Nearby sailors jumped into the water after the explosions.
The incident cut short the Indian military's feel-good stint with the launching of INS Vikrant, the country's first aircraft carrier, a few days ago and now questions are being raised about the delay in tracing the missing sailors.