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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Argentina fires head of navy over submarine tragedy

The sacking of Admiral Marcelo Eduardo Hipólito Srur comes a month after contact was lost with a submarine with 44 sailors on board

The firing of the admiral followed a public show of anger during a march organised by families of the 44 crew members, to mark a month since the submarine's disappearance. (AP Photo/Vicente Robles)
The firing of the admiral followed a public show of anger during a march organised by families of the 44 crew members, to mark a month since the submarine's disappearance. (AP Photo/Vicente Robles)

Argentina fired the head of its navy a month after a submarine disappeared in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members onboard, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

Letting go of Navy Admiral Marcelo Eduardo Hipólito Srur was the first known disciplinary action taken by President Mauricio Macri's administration since contact was lost with the ARA San Juan on Nov. 15.

"It was decided to remove him," a government spokesman said.

Families of the crew members criticized Macri's government for not clearly communicating with them and for abandoning rescue efforts.

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Argentina abandons rescue mission for crew of missing submarine

Argentina says it's not giving up yet on missing sub

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The navy said on Nov. 27 that water that entered the submarine's snorkel caused its battery to short-circuit before it went missing. The navy had previously said international organizations detected a noise that could have been the submarine's implosion the same day contact was lost.

Hope of rescuing survivors was abandoned on Nov. 30. The navy said it searched for double the amount of time the submarine would have had oxygen. An international search for the submarine is still under way.

The firing of the admiral came after a march organised by the families of the missing submariners outside of Argentina's Mar del Plata naval base.