Indonesia says missing submarine has been found broken into pieces deep in the ocean

Indonesia says missing submarine has been found broken into pieces deep in the ocean
An KRI Nanggala-402 submarine owned by Indonesia, the same model as the one that went missing on Wednesday.Alex Widojo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • The missing Indonesian submarine has been found, according to Indonesian military officials.
  • The vessel is reportedly deep in the ocean and broken into multiple pieces.
  • "It can be stated that the KRI Nanggala has sunk and all of its crew have died," one official said.

The Indonesia submarine that went missing this week has been found shattered into several pieces deep in the ocean, the Indonesian military said Sunday.

"We received underwater pictures that are confirmed as the parts of the submarine," Indonesian military chief Hadi Tjahjanto said. The photos were taken by an underwater robot deployed from a Singaporean vessel, according to the Associated Press.

The Indonesian military, supported by international assets, has been searching tirelessly for the KRI Nanggala 402 and its crew since it disappeared north of the island of Bali during a training exercise Wednesday.

Search teams found an oil slick suggesting a possible fuel tank rupture early in the search, and then more recently, they discovered items that appeared to have come from inside the vessel, such as prayer rug pieces, a bottle of periscope lubricant, part of a coolant pipe, and a torpedo component

"With the authentic evidence we found believed to be from the submarine, we have now moved from the 'sub miss' phase to 'sub sunk,'" Indonesian Navy Chief Yudo Margono said at a press conference Saturday.


At that press event, Margono also revealed that a sonar scan detected an object believed to be the missing submarine at a depth of almost 2,790 feet. At that depth, which is well beyond the vessel's maximum depth, the hull of the submarine would not have been able to withstand the crushing water pressure.

On Sunday, Margono announced that the submarine had been found and confirmed the previous day's assumptions.

"The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts, the hull of the ship, the stern of the ship, and the main parts are all separated, with the main part found cracked," Margono said Sunday, according to Reuters.

"Based on the evidence, it can be stated that the KRI Nanggala has sunk and all of its crew have died," Tjahjanto said. The submarine was carrying 53 passengers at the time it disappeared.

The loss of KRI Nanggala 402 and all 53 lives on board puts this deadly tragedy among some of history's worst submarine disasters, incidents like the sinking of ARA San Juan and the loss of 44 Argentine sailors just a few years ago.


"All of us Indonesians express our deep sorrow over this tragedy, especially to the families of the submarine crew," Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Sunday, sending his condolences to families of the sailors lost aboard the sunken submarine.

Although there are theories, such as a power failure preventing the submarine from resurfacing after experiencing some sort of emergency situation, it is unclear exactly what happened to the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine at this time.