L’entreprise OceanGate, organisatrice de l’expédition en mer a annoncé, ce jeudi 22 juin, que les cinq passagers du submersible disparu près de l’épave du Titanic sont considérés comme morts. Le contact avec le sous-marin avait été perdu dimanche, et est porté disparu depuis, l’engin disposait d’une autonomie théorique de 96 heures en plongée.

Le patron d’OceanGate, l’Américain Stockton Rush, était à bord, aux côtés d’un richissime homme d’affaires britannique, Hamish Harding 58 ans, de l’ancien plongeur et militaire de la marine, le Français Paul-Henri Nargeolet 77 ans, surnommé « M. Titanic », du magnat pakistanais Shahzada Dawood 48 ans et de son fils Suleman 19 ans, tous deux ayant également la nationalité britannique.

Le Titan, long d’environ 6,5 mètres, a plongé dimanche et devait refaire surface sept heures plus tard mais le contact a été perdu moins de deux heures après son départ. Mardi midi, les garde-côtes américains avaient prévenu qu’il restait « environ 40 heures d’air respirable » à bord.

Lors d’une conférence de presse, les garde-côtes américains ont de leur côté assuré que les débris du submersible retrouvés montraient que l’engin a subi une « implosion catastrophique ».

« Le champ de débris » retrouvé par les robots de recherche près de l’épave mythique, par près de 4.000 mètres de fonds, est compatible avec une implosion catastrophique du submersible », a déclaré, de son côté, le contre-amiral John Mauger des garde-côtes américains, lors d’un point de presse à Boston, sur la côte nord-est des Etats-Unis. Il a aussi évoqué une perte catastrophique de pression à l’origine de l’accident.

Sterline Piervil

52 thoughts on “États-Unis: Le patron d’OceanGate, Stockton Rush et quatre autres passagers du submersible sont morts”
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