BUENOS AIRES, March 15. /TASS/. Argentine Navy experts are convinced that its San Juan diesel-electric submarine, which disappeared mysteriously more than a year ago, was destroyed as a result of an implosion, the Todo Noticias TV channel reported on Thursday.
"There definitely was an implosion on board," the channel quoted Rear Adm. David Burden as saying in a report to the Argentine parliament’s upper chamber.
At present, an Argentinean court is trying to establish the chain of events that led to the disaster.
Argentine Navy spokesman, Capt. Enrique Balbi, said last November that judging by the analysis of the submarine’s wreckage, found scattered on the seabed, the submarine was probably hit by an implosion. However, he added that this version requires further study.
Communication with the San-Jose diesel-electric submarine with 44 crew members on board was lost on 15 November 2017 during passage from the Ushuaia naval base. On the day of its mysterious diasappearance, the crew reported that water had entered through a snorkel in the accumulator section, causing a short circuit in one of the batteries. During its last contact, the captain said that a fire broke out, but was contained, and the submarine continued to move toward the naval base in the city of Mar del Plata.
The Argentinean Navy Command turned to other countries for help. Among those who responded were Russian sailors. The vessel Yantar, which was on a mission at the coast of Western Africa, was urgently sent to the distress area. It had operated in Southern Atlantic longer than its counterparts, from December 6, 2017 till April 1, 2018. The Yantar returned safely to Severomorsk only in early June, 2018.
Further search was conducted by a private US seabed survey company, Ocean Infinity, hired by the Argentine government.