Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Thursday that relatives of the 53 submarine crew killed in an accident in the Bali Sea last week will have houses built for them as part of compensation measures.
“We will build houses for you … which can be located based on your wishes,” said the president when he met with relatives of the victims at a naval airbase in East Java.
Earlier this week, the president, usually known as Jokowi, said the crew members of the KRI Nanggala 402 would all have their ranks raised by one. He also pledged to finance the education of their children.
The minister of social affairs, Tri Rismaharini, also handed out financial compensation to families, local media said. She additionally said she would send social workers to family members to help them through their trauma.
What happened to the submarine?
The German-built KRI Nanggala 402 was discovered in the Bali Sea on Sunday in nearly 840 meters (2,756 feet) of water — well below the 200-meter depth that it was meant to withstand without collapsing. The cause of the disaster remains unknown.
The vessel had lost contact days earlier while preparing for a torpedo drill, triggering an international search made more urgent by fears the crew was running out of oxygen.
The loss of the vessel and its crew was confirmed on Sunday by Indonesia’s military chief, Hadi Tjahjanto.
What happens now?
Grieving relatives have called on the government to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones.
Experts say, however, that bringing the vessel to the surface will be a tricky task that requires specialized salvage equipment.
A spokesman for the navy, First Admiral Julius Widjojono, said on Wednesday that authorities were seeking companies with the right equipment to retrieve heavy parts of the vessel.
tj/rt (Reuters, AP)