The Argentinian navy has ended its search and rescue mission for a submarine that went missing 15 days ago. The crew only had enough oxygen to last up to 10 days if the sub remained intact under the sea.
The navy will continue trying to locate the ARA San Juan with international partners, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference on Thursday.
"More than double the number of days have passed where it would have been possible to rescue the crew," Balbi said on Thursday.
There were forty-four sailors on board the ARA San Juan when contact with the vessel was lost on November 15.
The navy said an explosion had occurred near the time and place where the ARA San Juan sub went missing.
The submarine had enough food and fuel to survive 90 days on the sea's surface.
The German-built ARA San Juan was en route from Ushuaia to its home base in Mar del Plata and was about 300 miles (480 kilometers) off the coast when it gave its last location and reported a battery failure.
Over a dozen boats and planes from Argentina, the US, UK, Chile and Brazil have joined the search, with the US Navy sending its Undersea Rescue Command.
The ARA San Juan launched in 1983 and is the newest of three submarines in the navy's fleet. Among the crew on board the vessel is Argentina's first female submarine officer.
Some relatives of crew members on the submarine have asked to be plaintiffs in a judicial investigation of the disappearance.
Luis Tagliapietra - the father of 27-year-old crewman Alejandro Tagliapietra - said he joined the case because he believes the navy withheld information and lied to the families of crew members such as his son.