Mumbai/New Delhi: Divers involved in searches in the stricken submarine INS Sindhurakshak have located the body of a sixth crew member and gained access to the forward compartment by breaking open jammed hatches, a Navy spokesperson said Sunday.
The spokesperson said that the sixth body was found Saturday evening.
"They (the divers) located and brought up the body of the sixth crew member just forward of the control room despite odds of visibility and mangled metal. They also successfully gained access into the forward compartment by breaking open jammed hatches. The assessment of the damage and state of the hull in this portion of the submarine will now continue through repeated entries by divers," the spokesperson said.
He said samples from the bodies of the six crew members have been sent to the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFL), Kalina, for DNA fingerprinting. Samples have also been obtained from blood relatives of personnel and forwarded to CFL.
The spokesperson said that the Navy Family Support Cell in Mumbai has been working to provide succour and emotional support to members of the affected families.
He said representatives of the 18 crew members have been accommodated in naval premises in Mumbai and were being provided periodic updates on the progress of the search.
The Naval Command in Visakhapatnam has also established a similar family support cell to interact with the kin of the submarine's crew.
"The present state of the submarine and various options for salvage are being assessed," the spokesperson said.
The Navy had earlier recovered "severely disfigured" bodies of five sailors from the submarine that sank at the Naval dockyard in Mumbai Wednesday with 18 men.