The Titanic submarine missing in the Atlantic Ocean suffered a “catastrophic implosion” and all five passengers have been confirmed dead, according to the US Coast Guard.
Rescue teams searching for the missing OceanGate submarine carrying Dubai-based billionaire Hamish Harding and four other passengers discovered debris on the ocean floor on Thursday.
In a press briefing a US Coast Guard official says the debris is confirmed to be from the missing submersible and no passengers survived.
Titanic submarine tragedy
In a press briefing, Rear Admiral John Mauger, the First Coast Guard District commander said a remotely operated vehicle from Horizon Arctic discovered parts of the missing submarine.
He said the debris was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 490m from the Titanic on the seafloor, explaining the discovery was “consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber”.
He added that families had been notified and offered condolences on behalf of the United States Coast Guard.
The submarine operator OceanGate released a statement shortly before the Coast Guard press conference.
OceanGate said: “We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans.
“Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.
“This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss.
“The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.
“We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families.
“This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea.
“We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time.