The Indonesian navy announced on Saturday that its missing submarine had sunk and cracked open after discovering objects from the vessel over the previous two days, effectively ruling out the possibility of finding any of the 53 crew members alive.
The presence of an oil slick and debris near the site where the submarine last dove off the coast of Bali on Wednesday was direct proof the KRI Nanggala 402 had sunk, according to military chief Hadi Tjahjanto, reports AP News.
The submarine's oxygen supply would have run out early Saturday, according to Indonesian officials, who previously thought it was just missing.
"If it's an explosion, it'll be in pieces," Navy Chief Yudo Margono said at a press conference in Bali. "As it went from 300 meters to 400 meters to 500 meters, the cracks appeared gradually in some areas. If there was a blast, the sonar will pick it up."
The navy previously stated that the submarine sunk to a depth of 600-700 meters (2,000-2,300 feet), much deeper than its collapse depth of 200 meters (655 feet), at which point the water pressure would be too much for the hull to handle.
"With the authentic evidence we found believed to be from the submarine, we have now moved from the 'sub miss' phase to 'sub sunk,'" Margono said at the press conference, in which the found items were displayed.
The cause of the disappearance was still uncertain. The navy had previously said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface.
Margono said that in the past two days, searchers found parts of a torpedo straightener, a grease bottle believed to be used to oil the periscope, debris from prayer rugs and a broken piece from a coolant pipe that was refitted on the submarine in South Korea in 2012.
Margono said rescue teams from Indonesia and other countries will evaluate the findings. He said no bodies have been found so far.
An American reconnaissance plane, a P-8 Poseidon, landed early Saturday and had been set to join the search, along with 20 Indonesian ships, a sonar-equipped Australian warship and four Indonesian aircraft.
Singaporean rescue ships were also expected Saturday, while Malaysian rescue vessels were due to arrive Sunday, bolstering the underwater hunt, officials said earlier Saturday.
Family members had held out hopes for survivors but there were no sign of life from the vessel. Indonesian President Joko Widodo had ordered all-out efforts to locate the submarine and asked Indonesians to pray for the crew's safe return.
The German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 had been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander, the Indonesian Defense Ministry said.
Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands, has faced growing challenges to its maritime claims in recent years, including numerous incidents involving Chinese vessels near the Natuna islands.