A missing Indonesian submarine was found that was split into at least three parts deep in the Bali Sea, Army and Navy officials said on Sunday as the president offered condolences to the 53 crew members.
Rescuers found new items, including a life jacket they believe belong to those aboard the 44-year-old KRI Nanggala-402, who lost contact Wednesday while preparing to conduct a torpedo drill.
“Based on the evidence, it can be determined that the KRI Nanggala sank and its entire crew died,” military chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters.
Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono said the crew was not responsible for the accident.
“The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts: the hull, the stern of the ship and the main parts are all separated, with the main part being cracked,” he said.
President Joko Widodo previously confirmed the discovery in the Bali Sea and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
“We all Indonesians express our deep sorrow over this tragedy, especially to the families of the submarine crew.”
Search teams said Saturday they found items such as prayer mat fragments and a bottle of periscope lubricant near the submarine’s last known location, leading the Navy to believe the ship had cracked.
Download the NBC News App for breaking news and politics
Margono said Saturday that a sonar scan discovered a submarine-like object at 2,800 feet outside of Nanggala’s diving range.
More than a dozen helicopters and ships are searching the lost contact area, with assistance from the US, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and India.
Residents of the East Javanese city of Banyuwangi, home to the naval base from which search and rescue operations are conducted, joined nationwide calls to accelerate the modernization of Indonesia’s defense forces.
“This can be a learning point for the government to advance their military technology and be careful how they use their (existing) technology as the lives of their people are at stake,” said Hein Ferdy Sentoso, 29.
Southeast Asia’s most populous country has tried to improve its military capabilities, but some pieces of equipment are still old and there have been fatal accidents in recent years.
Before the last accident, Indonesia had five submarines: two Type 209s built in Germany, including Nanggala, and three newer South Korean ships.