The crisis aboard the ARA San Juan submarine prior to its dramatic disappearance in November lasted hours not seconds, a Defence Ministry report will claim.
Five months after the mysterious disappearance of the San Juan, dozens of questions remain about the final moments on board the Navy vessel carrying 44 officers.
The unreleased Defence report will allegedly dismiss claims that the officers on board were unaware of the fate that awaited them in the time prior to the supposed implosion of the vessel. It also concludes that the submarine had surfaced prior to its disappearance.
The report was prepared by three Argentine experts in collaboration with international partners. Their conclusions are in a draft stage and will soon be presented to Defence Minister Oscar Aguad, La Nación reported.
The San Juan, a German-built TR-1700 class submarine, vanished as it was sailing from the southernmost port of Ushuaia to Mar del Plata after a patrol.
The Navy says that the captain reported on November 15 that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the submarine’s batteries to short-circuit. The captain later communicated that it had been contained.
Some hours later, an explosion was detected near the time and place where the sub was last heard from. The navy says the blast could have been caused by a “concentration of hydrogen” triggered by the battery problem reported by the captain.