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OceanGate finally suspends business and explorations 2 weeks after 5 died in Titanic sub tragedy
Featured Image Credit: Becky Kagan Schott/OceanGate

OceanGate finally suspends business and explorations 2 weeks after 5 died in Titanic sub tragedy

Better late than never...

OceanGate has suspended business and exploration operations two weeks after five people died on one of its submersibles.

The Titan submersible had been travelling to view the wreckage of the Titanic with five people on board on 18 June when it suffered a catastrophic implosion, killing all five men on board inside more or less instantly.

Shortly after the tragic accident, it emerged that OceanGate did not immediately suspend operations - despite revelations that there had been several concerns raised about the design of the Titan submersible.

One former employee at OceanGate was even sacked after raising concerns.

But now, two weeks after the disaster, the company has finally suspended its operations.

The company's website carries the announcement that operations have been suspended.

An announcement on the site currently states: "OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations."

OceanGate was initially founded by Stockton Rush and Guillermo Söhnlein in 2009. It used leased commercial submersibles to carry out trips to a number of locations, including to the Titanic wreckag, for the past 13 years.

Rush was among those who died on the submersible. The others were British businessman Hamish Harding, 58; British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, his 19-year-old son Suleman, and French veteran Titanic explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77.

Remnants of the missing submersible were found on the sea floor around 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic. An investigation into the incident is now underway.

The OceanGate Titan submersible.
Becky Kagan Schott/OceanGate

Jason Neubauer, a chair captain with the Marine Board of Investigation, said: “The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy.

"There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again."

Numerous factors in the submersible's design were flagged up as potential hazards. In a leaked email, one OceanGate employee even called the submersible an 'accident waiting to happen'.

Among the factors which was called out in a report was the fact that the submersible had used carbon fibre for the construction of its hull - this material was relatively untested for use in diving to such depths.

The Titan submersible before it was destroyed, police will now investigate the incident.
American Photo Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Vehicles designed for such depths commonly use materials such as titanium or steel alloys in their hulls. They also typically use a spherical structure to house their crew, rather than a cylinder like the Titan.

Leaked emails from former OceanGate employees also revealed that zip ties were used to attach certain components to the body of the submersible.

Following a search, rescuers also found 'presumed human remains' on the Titan wreckage. It is likely that the passengers would have been reduced to dust when the sub imploded.

Topics: Titanic, World News