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All five men on board missing Titan declared dead

All five men on board the missing Titan submersible were declared dead after it was found that the craft imploded near the site of the shipwreck, authorities announced Thursday.

Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron revealed that he received the information within 24 hours of the disappearance of the submersible that it had imploded when it lost communication with its mothership.

The director of the 1997 Oscar-winning film Titanic, said he received confirmation of a “loud bang” within an hour and that the last week had “felt like a prolonged and nightmarish charade”.

His statement comes after Wall Street Journal reported that secret US Navy underwater microphones detected the Titan sub’s implosion several days ago.

OceanGate Expeditions founder and CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman were all aboard the Titan.

The Navy used a top secret acoustic detection system to search for any sign of the OceanGate Expeditions submersible soon after it was reported missing on Sunday, a US Defence official said.

In a statement published online, Charles Haas, president of the Titanic International Society, an organisation set up in 1989 to preserve the history of the Titanic, questioned whether visits to the historic site 3,800m below the surface should continue.

He said: “It is time to consider seriously whether human trips to Titanic’s wreck should end in the name of safety, with relatively little remaining to be learned from or about the wreck.

“Crewed submersibles’ roles in surveying the wreck now can be assigned to autonomous underwater vehicles, like those that mapped the ship and its debris field in high-resolution, 3-D detail last summer.

“The world joins us in expressing our profound sadness and heartbreak about this tragic, avoidable event.”

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