Major Update On Titan Sub Disaster Issued One Year After The Tragedy

Researchers think that their work could help explain what happened on the Titan sub.

Titan Implosion

Researchers at the University of Houston think they have a big new clue about what caused the Titan sub to implode so badly almost a year ago.

Five people were in a submersible that was going down to the Titanic wreck on June 18, 2023, when it imploded, killing everyone inside.

People who died on the Titan were Hamish Harding, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

After the sub sank, there was a huge search and rescue operation because people thought they might not have been able to make it to the top.

Some of these hopes were fuelled by a rhythmic banging, which appeared to be coming every 30 minutes and led some to believe those on board the Titan were still alive.

Experts said they didn't know what the banging sounds were, but in the end, they came to the conclusion that the sub had imploded on the same day it went missing.

Dik Barton was the first British person to dive to the Titanic ruins. He told LADbible that the sound was "very clearly a mechanical noise" with "no urgency or stress to it," and that if it had been people in the sub, they would have probably sent an SOS instead.

The ship's wreckage was found just hours after the people inside the sub would have run out of air if it hadn't imploded.

As for why the sub imploded, University of Houston experts looked at ships that were similar to the Titan in size and material and ran a series of simulations. This gave us a new understanding of what might have happened.

Experts say that the Titan sub's carbon fiber skin may have become more damaged over time from stress from trips down to the Titanic wreck, which may have been made worse by flaws in the sub's cylinder shape.

If this had happened to the Titan, the sub's shell might not have been able to hold up as much pressure over time, and it would have eventually broken down. This is called "micro buckling."

There were several times before the disaster when people were worried about the Titan's safety.

Roberto Ballarini, one of the authors of the study and department chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston, explained to the New York Post: "Buckling in the simplest explanation: you take a long spaghetti and you push on it with two fingers. What’s going to happen? It’s going to buckle essentially, it’s going to snap.

"That’s what buckling is. It’s when you compress something and it deforms by a significant amount because it’s an instability."

They looked into how tiny flaws in thin structures can cause them to bend and break. This might help explain how the Titan sank.