Indonesia’s navy is searching for a submarine with 53 people on board which has gone missing amid fears it sank during a military exercise off the waters of Bali.
The 43-year-old German-made submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, was conducting a torpedo drill in waters 60 miles north of the island of Bali on Wednesday, but failed to relay the results as expected, a navy spokesman said.
The navy has deployed a number of warships to search for the missing crew and officials fear the vessel sank to the bottom of a trough with a depth of 2,300ft, reports Kompas.
The navy is now seeking help from Australia and Singapore, which have submarine rescue vessels, the country’s military chief said.
TNI commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said contact with the submarine was lost at around 4.30am local time on Wednesday morning.
”We are still searching in the waters of Bali, 60 miles from Bali, for 53 people,” military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told Reuters in a text message.
He added: ”Tomorrow I will immediately go to the location.”
The 1,395-tonne KRI Nanggala-402 was built in Germany in 1978, according to the Indonesian cabinet secretariat’s website, and underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.
But similar incidents have happened elsewhere. In 2017, an Argentine military submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic with 44 crew on board.
Its wreck was located a year later, and officials confirmed that the submarine had imploded.