World Bulletin / News Desk
A desperate international search continued Friday for a missing submarine in the southern Atlantic Ocean with a crew of 44 aboard.
Communications went silent with the ARA San Juan on Nov. 15 while it traveled north in the frigid ocean between two bases.
Officials said a noise “consistence” with an explosion was detected hours after contact was lost.
Navy spokesman Capt. Enrique Balbi told reporters Thursday it is unknown what caused the suspected explosion but there is no evidence of an attack.
As teams scramble to find the submarine that, barring any damage if there were an explosion aboard, would have about a week’s work of oxygen, family members have lambasted the navy for jeopardizing lives in the decades-old vessel.
The government is evaluating the response to the crisis by the navy’s leadership, including admirals and accountants for the operations of the German-built submarine that was commissioned in 1985 and restored in 2014.
There is “anger” inside the executive mansion, La Casa Rosada, according to Clarin newspaper that said the government considers there was “negligence” and “hidden” information by the navy.
There is widespread speculation President Mauricio Macri has already decided to dismiss Navy chief Admiral Marcelo Srur but an announcement would not be made until until the submarine is found.
The Defense Ministry has opened at least 40 internal investigations and demanded Srur issue an exhaustive report on the circumstances that led to ship’s disappearance.
Among the countries involved in the search of the 185,000 square-mile (480,000 square-kilometer) area are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, U.K, U.S. and Uruguay.
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