The Indonesian navy says that the submarine with 53 crews has sunk after objects found

An Indonesian submarine that disappeared off the coast of Bali has sunk, the country’s navy said on Saturday, hoping its 53 crew would be rescued.

The naval chief said that an applicant had recovered fragments from KRI Nanggala 402 including objects from inside the ship, whose oxygen reserves are already believed to have run out.

Warships, aircraft and hundreds of military personnel have searched for the affected ship. Authorities had said the German-built craft was equipped with enough oxygen for just three days after losing power.

This deadline passed early on Saturday.

“We have raised the status from submission to immersion,” Navy Chief Yudo Margono told reporters, adding that the retrieved items could not have come from another ship.

“(The objects) would not have come outside the submarine if there was no external pressure or no damage to the torpedo launcher.”

Navy officials showed several objects including a piece of a torpedo and a bottle of grease used to lubricate a submarine’s periscope.

They also found a prayer rug used by Muslims.

The submarine – one of five in Indonesia’s fleet – disappeared early on Wednesday during live torpedo drills off the Indonesian holiday island.

An oil spill that was discovered where the submarine was believed to have been submerged, pointed to possible damage to fuel tanks, and vented fears of a fatal disaster.

There were fears that the submarine could have been crushed by water pressure if it sank to a depth of 700 meters (2300 feet) – far below what it was built to withstand.

Get explanations

The ship was planned to carry out the training exercises when it asked for permission to dive. It lost contact shortly after.

Authorities have not offered possible explanations for the submarine’s sudden disappearance or commented on questions about whether the decades – old ship was overloaded.

The military has said the submarine, delivered to Indonesia in 1981, was seaworthy.

The neighborhoods of Singapore and Malaysia, as well as the United States and Australia, were among the nations that helped in the hunt with nearly two dozen ships deployed to search for a search zone that covered about 10 square kilometers (34 square kilometers).

Australia’s HMAS Ballarat arrived on Saturday with a US P-8 Poseidon aircraft that also helped search for the craft.

Singapore’s MV Swift Rescue – a submarine rescue ship – was expected later on Saturday.

The Indonesian military said earlier it had picked up signs of an object with high magnetism at a depth of between 50 and 100 meters (165 and 330 feet), and raised hopes of finding the submarine.

But Saturday’s announcement means that the Southeast Asian archipelago joins a list of countries affected by fatal submarine accidents.

Among the worst was the sinking of the Kursk in 2000, the pride of Russia’s northern navy.

That submarine was maneuvering in the Barents Sea when it sank with the loss of all 118 on board. An investigation found that a torpedo had exploded and detonated everyone else.

Most of the crew died immediately but some survived for several days before being suffocated.

In 2003, 70 Chinese naval officers and crew, apparently strangled, were killed in an accident on a Ming Class submarine during exercises in 2003.

Five years later, 20 people were killed by toxic gas when a fire extinguishing system was accidentally activated on a Russian submarine being tested in the Sea of ​​Japan.

And in 2018, the authorities found the wreck of an Argentine submarine that disappeared a year earlier with 44 sailors on board.

(AFP)

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