Disasters & Accidents

Indonesia promises houses to relatives of sunken submarine crew

Jakarta, Apr 29 (EFE).- Indonesian President Joko Widodo met for the first time Thursday with relatives of the 53 people who died aboard a military submarine that sank last week and offered them the construction of new houses.

Widodo, who had already announced posthumous promotions for all seafarers and scholarships for their children, renewed his promise to support the families of the Indonesians who died in the sinking of the Nanggala-402 vessel.

“We will build you a house in the locality of your choice,” Widodo said in a solemn ceremony before the families in a hangar of a naval base in East Java.

The submarine, a 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 Sunday split in three on the seabed and about 800 meters deep by a Singaporean submarine that participated in the wide search device, in which Australia, India and the United States were also involved.

Authorities are now studying the complicated operation to recover part of the submarine and the bodies of sailors trapped inside.

Indonesia ruled out the accident was caused by human error and said the vessel began to crack when it was between 400 and 500 meters below sea, about twice the depth of its diving capacity, after being swept away by an underwater current.

Authorities reported Tuesday that they have recovered the hydrophone, a part of the submarine that may help to understand the reasons for the accident. EFE


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