An explosion was reported near where the Argentine submarine went missing, the Argentine Navy confirmed Thursday.
The catastrophic explosion was recorded in the area of where the vessel went missing on Nov. 15, according to The New York Times.
The explosion was described as an “anomalous, short, violent” event by the Navy, and it effectively put a damper on the hopes of a team of rescuers trying to locate the submarine, which has 44 people on board.
“Until we don’t have certainty we’re going to carry on the search effort,” Capt. Enrique Balbi, a spokesman for the Argentine Navy, said Wednesday, adding that the international search team would continue to look.
On Wednesday, the Navy received a report from the United States of a “hydro-acoustic anomaly” that had been detected hours after the submarine went missing, according to the BBC.
One crew member’s sister told the broadcaster: “I feel like I’m waiting for a corpse.”
Itatí Leguizamón, 29, who is the wife of a crew member, said that her husband was worried about the submarine’s maintenance. “My husband told me there were problems,” she said.
“They deceived us,” she said, adding that she felt the Navy didn’t disclose enough information. “They manipulated us.”
Experts say that the submarine has enough oxygen to last seven to 10 days, and Thursday marks the eighth day it’s been missing.
The submarine wasn’t armed with nuclear weapons and the explosion was not believed to have involved a weapon, Balbi said.
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, South Africa, Uruguay, the United Kingdom have sent ships or planes to aid in the search and rescue mission.
Our hydroacoustic network detected an unusual signal near the last known position of #missing San Juan #submarine. The signal from an underwater impulsive event was detected 15 Nov 13:51 GMT, Lat -46.12 deg; Long: -59.69 deg. Details & data shared with Argentinian authorities. pic.twitter.com/SU5XHiICb4
— Lassina Zerbo (@SinaZerbo) November 23, 2017
Cmdr. Erik Reynolds, a spokesman for the United States Navy, however, noted that the explosion-like detection wasn’t caused by volcanic or seismic activity. “That was not a natural sound you hear in an ocean environment,” he said, the New York Times reported.
“For the United States, this is still a search-and-rescue mission,” he added. “We’re still presuming that they’re alive.”
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