According to the US Coast Guard, more wreckage and perhaps human remains have been retrieved from a privately owned submersible that crashed catastrophically in June while on a mission to the Titanic.
All five passengers on board Titan, a recreational submarine operated by the US-based corporation OceanGate, were killed when the craft imploded during its June 18 descent.
On June 22, the sub’s collapse was verified, bringing an end to a days-long rescue mission that gripped the world.
The Coast Guard has opened its highest level investigation into the disaster, known as a Marine Board of Investigation.
“Marine safety engineers with the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) recovered and transferred remaining Titan submersible debris and evidence from the North Atlantic Ocean seafloor” on October 4, the US Coast Guard said in a statement Tuesday.
“Additional presumed human remains were carefully recovered from within Titan’s debris and transported for analysis by US medical professionals,” it added.
Some wreckage and presumed human remains were also recovered in late June.
The Coast Guard said it was working with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and “other international investigative agencies” to plan a joint investigation of recovered Titan wreckage.
The Titan’s five passengers included British adventurer Hamish Harding, French submarine expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani-British tycoon Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, and Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the sub’s operator.
A debris field was discovered 1,600 feet (500 meters) off the Titanic’s bow, 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
The victims were thought to have killed instantly when the Titan, roughly the size of an SUV, imploded at a depth of more than two miles (almost four kilometers) under the crushing pressure of the North Atlantic.
The US Coast Guard and Canadian officials have initiated investigations into the cause of the catastrophe, which occurred around an hour and 45 minutes after the Titan went down in the water.
The Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank in 1912 on its maiden trip from England to New York, carrying 2,224 passengers and crew. Over 1500 individuals were killed.
It was found in 1985 and has become a lure for nautical experts and underwater tourists.