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What Is A Catastrophic Implosion? Likely Cause Of Titan Submersible's Destruction

The ‘Titan’ submarine, containing a group of five people who set out to explore the remains of the Titanic shipwreck, was lost in the North Atlantic for several days, and according to a US Coast Guard spokesperson, it has most likely suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’. 

Titanic Tourist Sub
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The ‘Titan’ submarine, containing a group of five people who set out to explore the remains of the Titanic shipwreck, has most likely suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’, according to a US Coast Guard spokesperson.

A report in the New York Times says that the US Navy detected “an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion” in the location where the submarine was when they lost communication. According to CNN, the US Navy search teams have found debris and pieces of the submersible in the area, providing evidence that the submarine has imploded. 

What is an implosion?

An implosion is when something collapses inwards, and in the case of the ‘Titan’, the implosion could have been caused by a flaw in its design or the immense pressure of the water in the depths of the ocean. A catastrophic implosion would have occurred at rapid speed, so the death of the passengers would have been immediate. Former naval officer Aileen Maria Marty told CNN that “The entire thing would have collapsed before the individuals inside would even realize that there was a problem”. 

The Titanic shipwreck lies 13,000 feet below sea level, and the pressure level at that depth is hundreds of times more than the pressure at the surface. It is uncertain what the exact cause of the implosion was without analysing the remains of the submarine – which is why it is important to find the debris to being the investigation. 

What are next the steps in the rescue operation?

The five people aboard the submarine were Stockton Rush, Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and Hamish Harding. The submarine was piloted by Stockton Rush, the CEO of Oceangate (the company that organised the excursion). Rush told a CBS reporter that “safety is just pure waste”, and that he could man the submarine just as safely “while breaking the rules”. The CBS reporter also discovered that Oceangate used unusual material to build the submarine, including a video game controller. 

It is unlikely that the bodies of the deceased passengers will be recovered, but the US Navy has sent teams to search for the remains of the submersible. “What they would do now is go back to that site and, like cookie crumbs, try to find a trail as to where that would lead,” said CEO of Underwater Forensic Investigators Tom Maddox to CNN. As of now, they have found a part of a pressure hull as well as the nose cone, which is a protective cone at the end of a rocket vehicle. 

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