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Photos from the Titan sub wreckage support cause of implosion theory

Photos from the Titan sub wreckage support cause of implosion theory

The wreckage could offer investigators significant clues as to what really happened

Newly released photos from the Titan sub wreckage appear to offer further support for the implosion theory.

The US Coast Guard announced the 'catastrophic implosion' of the Titan vessel on Thursday (22 June), after debris was discovered near the wreck of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

The vessel first lost contact with its mothership on Sunday (18 June), when it went to explore the wreck of the Titanic. Check out a simulation of the implosion here:

The 'catastrophic implosion' ended up killing all five passengers on board, who have since been identified as OceanGate CEO and co-founder Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver/Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood.

Photos and videos have since been released of the Titan submersible debris earlier this week and, according to an expert, they support the theory that the vessel's carbon-fiber hull is what led to its devastating implosion.

Jasper Graham-Jones, associate professor in Mechanical & Marine Engineering at Plymouth University, has since analysed the footage and photos taken before the ruins were transported for further analysis.

Graham-Jones told Insider that while it is 'impossible' to make a final conclusion from the photos alone - the 'most likely' scenario was that the carbon-fiber hull of the vessel gave way under the immense pressure of the ocean depths.

Another theory suggests it was actually the Titan's small front viewport which gave way first.

The vessel suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'.
Becky Kagan Schott/OceanGate

Photos show the vessel's structural titanium rings, the apparatus that supported the structure of the submersible, to be intact and therefore not the part of the ship that failed.

OceanGate's Titan featured 'two titanium rings bound to the carbon-fiber hull' with the expert explaining that 'the rings seem to have held firm', writes Insider.

"It shows that titanium was the right material to use, and linking with the composite was possibly the wrong material to use," he said.

Other photos show that the front viewport of the ship seems to have failed, with nothing in the porthole other than the red cable device used to lift it out of the water.

Graham-Jones told Insider that while it 'wasn't impossible' that the operation removed the acrylic viewport to make room for the red cable - he said it wasn't likely.

"They could have lifted it in a bag," he added. "It looks to me like it's failed, the window's gone."

That then begs the question: did the window fail first or did another part of the sub fail with the viewport simply getting blown out during the aftermath of the implosion?

Titan's viewport.

The expert says via Insider that the 'most telling part of the footage' is that no large slabs of the carbon-fiber hull appear to have been recovered in the operation.

While it could just be that such components were not visible in the footage, Graham-Jones tells Insider it is a 'sign' that the hull is what likely 'failed first'.

He explained that both the window failing and the hull failing would have led to the implosion of the ship but if it was just the viewport that succumbed to the depths first, then the existing pressure would have been less intense on the hull.

And lastly, pictures show piping that would have initially been inside the sub, all encased in a 'metal cage' that would have been connected to the carbon-fiber hull.

No large slabs of the hull seem to have been recovered.

He said: "The joint should be strong enough that it goes into the carbon, and so you'd have carbon left on that piece."

But, as that doesn't seem to have happened, the expert explains that the lack of visible carbon fiber on the tubes could mean one of two things.

Either the joint failed or it is 'probably more proof' that the carbon-fiber hull was the first to go before breaking into such small fragments that remnants wouldn't be visible on the joints.

According to Graham-Jones, the 'most plausible scenario is that the hull failed first' with the current evidence at hand.

A forensic investigation is now underway to work out the exact sequence of events which led to the eventual 'catastrophic implosion'.

He said investigators will be 'effectively looking under a microscope, at all the parts' which will hopefully eventually 'give you an idea of how it's failed'.

Featured Image Credit: CBS / Becky Kagan Schott/OceanGate

Topics: News, World News, US News, Titanic