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How the sub might have imploded and what happens to humans inside

How the sub might have imploded and what happens to humans inside

The Titan sub suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’, the US Coast Guard said

Experts have explained why and how the Titan submersible could have imploded, after the US Coast Guard confirmed debris had been found that was consistent with ‘catastrophic implosion’.

The Titan sub, which had been set to travel down to the wreckage of the Titanic, went missing shortly after it set off on Sunday (18 June) prompting a huge search and rescue mission.

There were five people on board: British billionaire Hamish Harding; French maritime expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet; Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman; and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Rear Admiral John Mauger confirmed that the tail cone of the missing Titan submersible has also been found close to the wreck of the Titanic.

He said: “In consultation with experts from within the unified command, the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.

“Upon this determination, we immediately notified the families.

“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families. I can only imagine what this has been like for them.

“And I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time.”

The Titan submersible.

Mauger added: "This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the seafloor and the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.

"We will continue to work and we will continue to search down there but I don't have an answer for prospects at this time.”

The submersible was designed to withstand huge amounts of pressure, however, any damage to the vessel’s hull could cause a leak which would trigger an implosion.

An implosion is the reverse of an explosion - so rather than pressure moving outward, as it does in an explosion, it moves inward. Much like an explosion, implosions can be incredibly powerful.

Stefan Williams, a professor of marine robotics at the University of Sydney, told The Guardian: "If the pressure vessel has failed catastrophically, it's like a small bomb going off. The potential is that all the safety devices might be destroyed in the process.”

The sub was used to explore the remains of the Titanic.

While OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein told the BBC: "What I do know is regardless of the sub, when you're operating at depth the pressure is so great on any sub that if there is a failure it would be an instantaneous implosion. If that's what happened that's what would have happened four days ago."

As for those on board, it would have happened so quickly they wouldn’t have been aware of what was going on, according to one expert.

Dr. Dale Molé, the former director of undersea medicine and radiation health for the US Navy, told the Daily Mail: “It would have been so sudden, that they wouldn't even have known that there was a problem, or what happened to them.

“It's like being here one minute, and then the switch is turned off. You're alive one millisecond, and the next millisecond you're dead.”

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: US News, World News, Titanic