Indonesia searching for missing submarine with dozens of people on board

Indonesia searching for missing submarine with dozens of people on board

Indonesia's defense ministry said that an aerial search had spotted an oil slick on the water near where the submarine is thought to have performed a dive.

In a statement published Wednesday night, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense said the KRI Nanggala-402, a German-made submarine, lost contact during a torpedo drill in the Bali Strait - a stretch of water between the islands of Java and Bali that connects to the Indian Ocean and the Bali Sea.

"After permission was given according to the procedure, the submarine lost contact and could not be reached", the defence ministry said. The navy and the national search and rescue agency have dispatched five submarines and other vessels to continue the search for the missing submarine.

Communication has been lost with an Indonesian navy submarine near Bali, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting the country's military chief.

Officials have called on Australia and Singapore to help in the search, according to Reuters. In 2017, an Argentine military submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic with 44 crew on board.

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"It is possible that during static diving, a blackout occurred so control was lost and emergency procedures can not be carried out and the ship falls to a depth of 600-700 meters", the IndonesianNavy said in a statement.

Indonesia's new Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said the submarine was involved in a training exercise.

The German-built submarine, which has been in service since the early 1980s, was rehearsing for a missile-firing exercise that was to take place on Thursday.

Both Type 209/1300 (Cakra-class) submarines of the Indonesian Navy, KRI Cakra and KRI Nanggala were built by Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW, TKMS) in 1981.

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