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Indonesia Finds Submarine, Declares the Crew Dead

53 were aboard the KRI Nanggala, which disappeared Wednesday
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2021 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The wreckage of a missing Indonesian Navy submarine with 53 crew members has been located, the military said Sunday. Searchers found items and parts from the submarine, including the anchor and safety suits for crew members, CNN reports. "Based on that authentic proof, I declare here that the Nanggala submarine sank and all of the crew died," Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said at a news conference Sunday. The wreckage was found on the sea floor, 2,800 feet down in the Bali Sea, per NBC. The sub's collapse depth, below which the hull could not handle the water pressure, was 655 feet. No cause was given, though Adm. Yudo Margono said, "This is not a human error, but a natural/environment factor." On Saturday, he said it appeared that heavy pressure on the submarine likely caused it to crack, while discounting the possibility of an explosion. The KRI Nanggala broke into three pieces.

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Among the items displayed Sunday was an escape suit. "Normally it is stored inside the box, but since we found it outside we believe that the crew were going to wear it but they had no chance," Margono said. Tjahjanto said the crew members will be honored, and he offered his condolences to their families, per the Washington Post. He said recovering the German-made submarine will require international help. Contact was lost when the sub was conducting an exercise Wednesday off Bali. The loss has prompted calls to modernize Indonesia's military. "This can be a learning point for the government to advance its military technology and be careful in how it uses its (existing) technology," said a resident of the town that's the base for the search effort, "because its people's lives are at stake." (Read more submarine stories.)

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