The entire crew of a missing Argentinian submarine are believed to be dead this morning following an explosion.
The navy detected what they believe to be the sound of an explosion, sparking fears that all 44 crew members had lost their lives.
The ARA San Juan has been missing since November 15, and it failed to show up for it’s scheduled arrival at the Mar del Plata Navy Base on Monday.
More than a dozen ships and planes have been searching for the submarine since the navy lost contact with it.
The San Juan’s captian had reported battery failure before they lost contact.
Relatives and rescue workers have lost all hopes of a rescue as they gathered at the base.
In a statement to reporters, Navy spokesman, Enrique Balbi, said that an abnormal sound detected in the South Atlantic ocean was “an anomalous event that was singular, short, violent and non-nuclear that was consistent with an explosion”.
He added: “We don’t know what caused an explosion of these characteristics at this site on this date.”
Relatives of the crew mwbers have gathered at the base and are now calling for authorities to be held to account for the tragedy.
Itatí Leguizamón, the wife of the San Juan’s sonar operator Germán Suárez said:
“They sent a piece of sh*t out to navigate
“We don’t believe they didn’t know from before. They’re perverse bastards who’ve had us here for a week.”
The submarine was a German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class vessel that was commissioned in 1985.
It was most recently refit in 2014 when it was cut in half and had it’s engine and batteries replaced.
Authorities have said that the vessel was in good condition but relatives of the crew are disputing the safety of the vessel.
The navy have said that even if the crew members have survived, they would only have enough oxygen to survive for about seven to ten days.