Indonesian submarine goes missing north of Bali

(BBC) – An Indonesian navy submarine has gone missing with 53 people on board, military officials say.

The submarine was conducting a drill north of the island of Bali on Wednesday, but it failed to report back and contact was lost.

Indonesia’s military chief said warships had been dispatched to find the KRI Nanggala-402 vessel.

Officials have called on Australia and Singapore to help in the search. The countries have not publicly commented.

The German-made submarine is thought to have disappeared in waters about 60 miles (100km) off the coast of Bali early on Wednesday morning.

“[The navy] is currently searching for it. We know the area but it’s quite deep,” First Admiral Julius Widjojono told AFP news agency.

Some reports say contact was lost after the submarine had been given clearance to dive into deeper waters.

The vessel is one of five submarines operated by Indonesia.

It was made in the late 1970s, and underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012, according to Reuters news agency.

It is the first time Indonesia has lost one of its submarines, a Navy spokesman told the BBC.

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.

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