Global Issues

ARA San Juan: crew feared dead after Argentine Navy reveals submarine could have ‘exploded’

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All 44 crew members on the missing Argentine submarine are feared dead after the navy confirmed an ‘explosion’ had been detected on the day the vessel disappeared.

Captain Enrique Balbi, a navy spokesman, said an “abnormal, singular, short, violent, non-nuclear event” had been detected in the South Atlantic ocean on the morning of the 15th November. That was around the same time the ARA San Juan sent out its last signal, reported Reuters.

The search for the missing vessel, which has enough air to last only seven to 10 days if fully immersed, has been intensifying as several countries participate in a massive search covering some 187,000 square miles.

Captain Balbi said the submarine has enough food, water, fuel and oxygen to operate for 90 days without external help. However, that only applies if the vessel can raise a snorkel to the surface “to charge batteries and draw fresh air for the crew.”

If the submarine has been fully submerged and unable to surface, its oxygen supply may only last about seven days.

Wednesday marked the seventh day since the vessel disappeared.

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