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The Indonesian navy is racing against time to find and save the 53 crew members on board the missing KRI Nanggala-402 submarine, as the vessel only contains enough oxygen to last them till Saturday.
In a televised press conference on Thursday afternoon broadcast on Indonesian news outlet Kompas TV, Indonesian officials said that the submarine is only equipped with 72 hours of oxygen.
Over 36 hours have elapsed since the submarine disappeared in the waves off Bali’s coast at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, local time. It was participating in a torpedo drill along the Bali Strait, a 37-mile long stretch of water between the islands of Java and Bali that connects the Indian Ocean to the Bali Sea, when it went off the grid abruptly.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Defense spokesperson, First Admiral Julius Widjojono, told members of the media on Wednesday that 49 crew members, one ship commander, and three weapons specialists were on board the missing submarine.
“We cannot say for sure if the vessel has sunk, but if it has, the crew may be running out of oxygen,” said Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto during the press conference, adding that a massive search-and-rescue operation is currently underway to find the submarine.
According to the BBC, the country has deployed six warships, a helicopter, and 400 military personnel in an attempt to locate and surface the vessel.
Channel News Asia reported that rescue vessels from Singapore and Malaysia were sent to help find the submarine on Thursday.
Indonesian Major-General Achmad Riad said at Thursday’s press conference that the navy was still searching for the submarine from the last position it was detected, which was around 23 nautical miles north of Bali. He added that he had no evidence to conclusively say that the submarine had already sunk.
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Source:: Business Insider