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US sends aircraft to aid in Indonesia submarine search

US sends aircraft to aid in Indonesia submarine search

Indonesia has deployed warships and hundreds of personnel in the search for a submarine that went missing off the coast of Bali AFP/SONNY TUMBELAKA

WASHINGTON: The United States military will send airborne teams to help Indonesia search for a submarine that went missing with 53 sailors aboard, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday (Apr 22).

Kirby said the US Defense Department was "deeply saddened" by the news of the lost submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that disappeared on Wednesday during exercises off the coast of Bali.

"Our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families," Kirby said in a statement.

"At the invitation of the Indonesian government, we are sending airborne assets to assist in the search for the missing submarine."

Kirby said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin planned to speak on Friday with Indonesian defense chief Prabowo Subianto "to convey our sorrow and to discuss how else the United States can be of assistance."

READ: Vessels from Singapore and Malaysia to assist in search for missing Indonesian submarine

READ: Missing submarine: Oxygen will run out in 72 hours during a power blackout, says Indonesian navy chief

An oil spill where the submarine was thought to have submerged pointed to possible damage to its fuel tank and fanned fears of a deadly disaster.

The crew of the German-built vessel could have enough oxygen until early Saturday, but time was quickly running out as rescuers scoured the coast off Bali for signs of its location.

Source: AFP/vc

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