Last updated: 23 October, 2011

Bodies of 6 Indians found in Iran diving chamber

The bodies of six Indian divers working on an Iranian oil field in the Gulf were recovered Sunday from a diving chamber that became trapped underwater when its support ship sank, officials said.

A search was continuing for up to seven other crew members of the ship who were missing, believed drowned, according to the websites of Iran’s oil ministry and state broadcaster.

Sixty people were rescued from the stricken ship Thursday by Iranian navy and local vessels.

As the ship’s diving chamber — used to lay and maintain oil pipes in the Gulf — contained its own limited oxygen supply, Iranian officials had initially held out hopes that the six inside might have survived.

But an official in charge of underwater repairs for Iran’s national oil company, Naser Naserinia, was quoted by the oil ministry’s information website as saying: “The remains of six Indian divers were found…. Hopefully we will recover the bodies of the missing six Iranians and one foreign national.”

The crew of oil services ship included workers of Iranian, Indian and Ukrainian nationalities.