Photo: The Canadian Press
An apparent explosion occurred near the time and place an Argentine submarine went missing, the country’s navy reported Thursday, prompting relatives of its 44 crew members to burst into tears and some to say they had lost hope of a rescue.
Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said the search will continue until there is full certainty about the fate of the ARA San Juan, despite the evidence of an explosion and with more than a week having passed since the submarine disappeared. It was originally scheduled to arrive Monday at Argentina’s Mar del Plata Navy Base.
The U.S. Navy and an international nuclear test-ban monitoring organization said a “hydro-acoustic anomaly” was produced just hours after the navy lost contact with the sub on Nov. 15.
“According to this report, there was an explosion,” Balbi told reporters. “We don’t know what caused an explosion of these characteristics at this site on this date.”
The navy spokesman described the event as “singular, short, violent and non-nuclear.” It was detected near where the ARA San Juan went