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Argentine Navy calls off rescue operation for missing submarine crew

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-01 09:40

Argentine Navy calls off rescue operation for missing submarine crew

A heart formed with stripes with the colours of Argentina's national flag and a sailor hat hang from a fence in support of the 44 crew members of the missing at sea ARA San Juan submarine, at a Argentine Naval Base in Mar del Plata, Argentina Nov 24, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina's Navy ended a rescue operation on Thursday for the ARA San Juan submarine's 44-member crew, some two weeks after the vessel went off the radar.

"It has not been possible to locate the submarine and there will be no rescue of persons," navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.

However, the navy will continue to look for the vessel along the sea bottom, he said.

The submarine lost contact at 7:30 am local time (10:30 GMT) on Nov 15 as it was navigating in the south Atlantic.

Officials believe an explosion detected around the same time may have sunken the vessel.

A multinational rescue effort has been underway for the search, which included teams from more than 10 countries, such as Germany, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Russia and Uruguay.

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