The rescue team had on Friday extricated badly charred bodies of five of the 18 personnel trapped in the craft after grueling efforts as naval authorities voiced worst fears that others on board might have been incinerated too.

"Body of one more sailor was recovered from the submarine late this evening," Navy sources said. The divers had managed to open a second access to the sunken vessel during an overnight operation.

Sources said the Navy divers are carrying out the task of searching within the submarine by "feeling each inch" due to zero visibility within flooded compartments to locate the missing bodies and mark a probable route to be used for further rescue operations.

The Navy has instituted a Board of Inquiry to probe the cause of the explosions and fire which is expected to submit its report within four weeks. Mumbai Police have also registered a case of accidental death in connection with the worst peacetime tragedy suffered by the Navy.

Safety rules violation may be behind accident, says Russia

Violation of safety regulations could be the most likely cause of the explosions on submarine Sindhurakshak because of which it sank, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said.

Quoting experts, he told the news agency that the violation of safety regulations was the most probable cause of the accident on Wednesday.

He, however, qualified his comments, saying that assessment of what really happened are still being made to determine the exact reason behind the tragedy in which 18 Navy officials are feared dead.

"But things are still to be assessed in full... At the moment we are not blaming the equipment," Rogozin said.

"The very first information that I received at night, several hours after that accident was that the blast had occurred in the section where storage batteries were being charged. This is the most dangerous work, which is connected with safety measures rather than with the producers of this equipment," he said.

Rogozin also expressed condolences to the Indian side in connection with the loss of lives.

(JPN/Agencies)

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