Jakarta, May 18 (EFE).- Indonesian authorities on Tuesday said that they have started an operation to lift parts of a submarine that sank in April with 53 crew members aboard, and hope to conclude the mission before the end of the month.
Around six ships have been deployed by the Indonesian navy for the operation, joined by three Chinese ships equipped with specialist tools that are expected to be used to bring up the remains of the ship from the Bali Sea floor.
The Nanggala-402 submarine suffered a fatal accident on Apr. 21 while taking part in military exercises.
The vessel was later located split into three parts at a depth of over 800 meters (2,626 feet) north of the island of Bali.
The stern and the controls section are the priorities of the mission that will run until the end of May, Indonesian Admiral Iwan Isnurmanto said at a press conference in Bali on Tuesday, without specifying whether the bow will also be recovered later.
Authorities believe that the bodies of the 53 crew members are trapped inside the submarine.
The Cakra-class model made in Germany in 1978 and delivered to Indonesia three years later, disappeared about 40 minutes after submerging at dawn on Apr. 21 during a military maneuver.
The Nanggala-402, which was refurbished in 2012, was located five days after the accident by a Singaporean submarine that participated in the extensive search for the missing vessel and in which Australia, India and the United States were also involved.
Indonesia has ruled out human error as a cause of the accident.
The authorities have already recovered the hydrophone, a part of the submarine that may help to understand the reasons for the accident. EFE