AN expert has revealed the doomed Titan sub may have imploded to poor design and cracks in the submarine.
Brits Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood all died on board on June 18 – along with Stockton Rush, the OceanGate CEO, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
Now a potential reason behind the sub’s implosion at the bottom of the Atlantic could be tiny cracks.
Rush came up with the sub’s unique design, hoping it would become a new industry standard.
But experts compared the Titan with the Alvin – a US government research sub that has completed more than 4,500 deep sea dives since 1973 with no accidents.
Alvin was made of Titanium, while the Titan was made of carbon fibre, which is cheaper and lighter than titanium, it isn’t nearly as sturdy.
Dr Jasper Graham-Jones, of Plymouth University, told The Sun that cracks may have been a major contributing factor to the Titan’s demise.
Referencing the large window onboard, he said: “Cracks would have formed.
“They might not have been seen at first, but they start to become a little bit bigger each time before becoming a critical crack and failing.”
Dr Graham-Jones explained following the salvage of the wreck, investigators will begin to look for a cause of disaster in locations where cracks are usually found.
Typically, he said, this could be at joints of the vessel and where the greatest flexing is occurring.
But certain patterns of cracks on the vessel and their locations can signify what exactly went wrong – and when.
Dr Graham-Jones said: “The crack could be brittle, or ductile, and related to fatigue and de-lamination.
“By scanning under an electron microscope, you can see the fatigue and confirm the speed and direction of the cracks.”
Experts told The New York Times that the way the sub was dragged out to sea could have also damaged the vessel and led to the catastrophic implosion.
The Alvin travels on a dedicated ship fitted with custom winches, hangars and a machine shop – and a large crane places it into the ocean.
Arnie Weissmann, editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, took an OceanGate voyage in May – using the same Polar Prince mothership.
He said: “I thought the sub and platform were being tossed around pretty roughly.”
The OceanGate sub vanished with five people on board less than two hours into its descent to the Titanic wreckage.
Search crews frantically looked for the vessel in the Atlantic after it lost communication with just 96 hours of life support.
The sub failed to resurface – with its final “ping” to Polarplacing the sub directly above the ruins.
Passenger Mr Harding paid £200,000 for the trip along with businessman Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman, 19, a student at Glasgow University.
It was led by Rush, 61, and veteran French explorer Henri Nargeolet, 77.
The debris – including a landing frame and the tail cone – was raised 3,800m from the sea floor after it was discovered near the Titanic wreck.