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News > Latin America

Argentina Navy Confirms Explosion Inside Lost Submarine

  • Argentine Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi speaks to the press.

    Argentine Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi speaks to the press. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 November 2017

Relatives of the officers inside of the submarine in Argentina have strongly criticized the actions of the government and the Navy.

The Argentine Navy has confirmed that there was an explosion in the area where the lost submarine was last seen on Nov. 15, Clarin reported. Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi mentioned that this would explain why the crew didn't use any of the emergency mechanisms.

How Did Argentina Lose a Submarine And Its Crew?

Balbi added that information suggests that the submarine could have experienced an implosion, explaining why they haven't found any pieces of the submarine in the sea. They said a sound was detected four hours after the last contact was made with the submarine, which had an electric fault.

Meanwhile, relatives of the officers inside of the submarine in Argentina have strongly criticized the actions of the government and the Navy, saying delays and slow protocol hindered the search. Relatives also stood outside of Navy headquarters, chanting "you lied to us," according to El Pais.

Elena and Federico, the brothers of Cristian David Ibanez, one of the officials inside the ARA San Juan, said they live with pain as they await news on their brother and the rest of the crew.

"We are waiting for a miracle, that our brother appears along with all his crewmates, but I also feel that I am waiting for a wake," said Elena. "I need to hug my brother."

During a visit by President Mauricio Macri to the relatives, they said the application of search protocol was delayed and that the collaboration of other countries should have been accepted days before. The Navy said they complied in time with all protocols in this case.

"If they had accepted the aid as soon as they knew about the communication, they would have already found them," said Ibanez's brother, Federico.

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters 

Photo: Reuters 

Photo: EFE

Federico said his brother had sent him pictures from Ushuaia, from where he sailed, and asked his daughter and his wife to wait for him at the Mar del Plata port.

"The anguish of living in uncertainty is the worst," Federico said. "It's impressive that so much time has passed and we still don't know anything".

The relatives await at the Naval Base of Mar del Plata, located in the province of Buenos Aires, where the submarine was expected to arrive between Sunday Nov. 18 and Monday Nov. 19.

Argentine Submarine Rescue Hopes Dwindle as New Sound 'Anomaly' Detected

For Psychiatrist Enrique Stein, who leads the support team for the relatives at the base, the situation demands respect and precautions to avoid misinformation.

"At this moment, people suffer the emotional situation based on the cycles of information, which leads to illusions and disappointments, which is logical," Stein said.

Previously, Balbi said one possibility was that the submarine couldn't go afloat and was stranded in the bottom of the sea, or that it could have been navigating on the surface. The submarine was last heard from on Nov. 15 and carried a maximum seven-day supply, a deadline that was met on Wednesday.

"It is a critical situation and the concern is growing. We are all worried, just like the relatives,"

This is the C130 aircraft of @CanalOficialFAA operating from the Air Force Base Admiral Zar #Trelew in the framework of the search tasks of #SubmarinoARASanJuan #Thanks

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