Indonesia continues search for submarine missing north of Bali with 53 on board

The 1,395-tonne KRI Nanggala-402. Photo: TNI
The 1,395-tonne KRI Nanggala-402. Photo: TNI

The Indonesian Military (TNI) today cautioned against unverified information amid an ongoing search for the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine that went missing north of Bali on Wednesday with 53 people on board. 

TNI spokesman Major General Achmad Riad said at a press conference this morning that contact was lost with the German-made submarine as it was conducting a torpedo drill in the waters about 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Bali. 

“The last communication with KRI Nanggala was at 4:25am when the drill commander was authorizing a torpedo launch, that’s when communication with Nanggala was cut off,” Achmad said. 

Various reports, some of which based on statements from officials, have since emerged following the incident, including the possibility of electrical failure during the dive and damage to the fuel tank due to water pressure. Amid the surge of potential explanations, Achmad said that the military is still waiting for developments and have yet to receive enough information that can be verified. TNI Chief Hadi Tjahjanto is expected to speak at a press conference later today. 

The submarine was carrying 49 crew members, its commander, and three arsenal personnel. KRI Nanggala-402 is one of five submarines owned by TNI, and was built in West Germany in 1977, the military said in a statement.

The military has also sought assistance for the search from Australia and Singapore. 

Separately, the Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) in Bali said that one if its search and rescue vessels is on standby at Benoa Harbor.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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