Anticipating the arrival of bodies from the ill-fated INS Sindhurakshak, heavy security was deployed at the state-run post mortem centre in JJ hospital on Friday. “Four bodies of deceased personnel have been brought for post mortem from INHS Asvini, Naval Hospital.
The bodies are yet to be identified,” said a doctor from the forensic medicine department at JJ Hospital.
The cause of death for all four bodies was ascertained to be burn injuries with a history of drowning. “After the explosion, the sea water in the radius of two kilometers had heated up at very high temperatures,” said a naval officer requesting anonymity.
“The deceased personnel sustained burn injuries in the explosion and then immediately came in contact with hot sea water. This led to burns and broken blackened skin but the flesh and bones of the bodies were intact. However, a few peripheral body parts like the arms, feet and the ears in some bodies were missing,” said the doctor.
Doctors said that the bodies of deceased were charred beyond recognition and that an x-ray of the bones was conducted to ascertain if shrapnel was embedded in the remains.
“We have preserved samples from bone marrow and blood, which has been sent to state forensic laboratory at Kalina for DNA analysis so we can identify the remains,” said Dr TP Lahane, dean at JJ Hospital.
The DNA analysis results are expected to arrive from the laboratory in seven to ten days. The tests are being expedited due to the urgency of the issue.