(NEW YORK) — Family members of the 44 sailors aboard a missing Argentine sub were told that their loved ones were believed to be dead, one of the family members told ABC News Thursday.
Itati Leguizamon, whose husband German Suarez was aboard the ARA San Juan, said the families had been given the grim news.
Outside the ship’s destination in Mar del Plata, where family members gathered, a brother of one of the missing sailors was heard screaming “They killed my brother!”
The news came as Argentine naval officials said that a sound that was detected during the desperate search for the sub, which vanished last week in the South Atlantic Ocean, was consistent with an explosion.
The vessel was last heard from Nov. 15 and officials feared that it would run out of oxygen soon.
According to the Argentine navy officials, the sound, described as “consistent with a non-nuclear explosion” that was “abnormal, singular, short, violent” was detected just three hours after the last known communication.
The sound, which occurred about 270 miles east of the Gulf of San Jorge in the southern part of the country, was picked up by U.S. sensors and international agencies that are capable of detecting nuclear explosions.
According to the officials the site of the detected noise has a radius of 77 miles and a possible depth of approximately 650-10,000 feet.
The officials do not believe the sound resulted from an attack or terrorism and said there was an indication on the morning of the last known communication of an electrical fault in the vessel.
According the officials, there would not be a debris field because an explosion at that depth would be considered an implosion.
Rescuers had been searching a 186,000 square mile area off the coast and rough weather had hampered their efforts.
The vessel had been en route to Mar del Plata from a base in Ushia, Argentina.
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