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>On 8 June 1943, Mutsu was moored in the Hashirajima fleet anchorage, with 113 flying cadets and 40 instructors from the Tsuchiura Naval Air Group aboard for familiarization. At 12:13 the magazine of her No. 3 turret exploded, destroying the adjacent structure of the ship and cutting her in half. A massive influx of water into the machinery spaces caused the 150-meter (490 ft) forward section of the ship to capsize to starboard and sink almost immediately. The 45-meter (148 ft) stern section upended and remained floating until about 02:00 hours on 9 June before sinking, coming to rest a few hundred feet south of the main wreck at coordinates 33°58′N 132°24′ECoordinates: 33°58′N 132°24′E.
>In 1970, the Fukada Salvage Company began recovery operations that lasted until 1978 and recovered about 75% of the ship. The two aft turrets were raised in 1970 and 1971. The salvagers retrieved 849 bodies of crewmen lost during the explosion. In 1995, the Mutsu Memorial Museum declared that no further salvage operations were planned.