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Singapore leaders send condolences to Indonesian president over sunken submarine with 53 aboard

Singapore leaders send condolences to Indonesian president over sunken submarine with 53 aboard

The submarine - one of five in Indonesia's fleet - disappeared early Wednesday during live torpedo training exercises off Bali. (Photo: AFP/Handout)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to express their condolences over the death of 53 crew members on board a sunken submarine.

In a letter released by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday (Apr 26), Madam Halimah extended her "deepest condolences to the people of Indonesia" on behalf of Singaporeans.

"I was saddened by the loss of lives of the 53 crewmen that resulted from the sinking of the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine," she said.

The submarine went missing while taking part in a torpedo drill in waters north of Bali last Wednesday.

All 53 personnel on board were confirmed dead by the Indonesian military after the sunken submarine was found on Sunday.

"We were praying and hoping that they could be saved but it turned out otherwise.

"This is a trying period for the people of Indonesia and the families and loved ones of the victims, who were performing their duty to their nation when the accident occurred," said Mdm Halimah.

"My prayers and thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the crewmen on their terrible loss and may they find peace in this month of Ramadan."

READ: Video emerges of crew of sunken Indonesia submarine singing goodbye song

READ: 'We can only pray', says mother-in-law of sailor on missing Indonesian submarine

In his letter to Mr Widodo, Mr Lee said he was saddened by the tragic loss of lives and offered his "heartfelt condolences" to the families and loved ones of the crew members affected by the "devastating" incident.

"Singapore’s MV Swift Rescue was part of the extensive search and rescue operation led by your government. Singapore stands ready to provide any further assistance that may be required," he said.

"My sympathies and thoughts are with the people of Indonesia in this time of grief."

Faculty at Nanyang Technological University's S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) have extended their condolences over the death of Lieutenant Colonel Heri Oktavian, their alumnus and the ship's commander.

Lt Col Oktavian was postgraduate student at RSIS in 2014 and did a Master of Science in Strategic Studies, said the school on Monday.

He had been commander of the KRI Nanggala 402 since April last year, according to Indonesian media.

Source: CNA/jt(rw)

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