'Presumed Human Remains' Have Been Found Among Titan Submarine Wreckage

It's been a week since debris was discovered on the ocean floor near the Titanic, confirming the worst—that the Titan submersible on an expedition to tour the famous shipwreck had imploded, killing all five men aboard. Following a mission to recover evidence at the site of the incident, the U.S. Coast Guard says "presumed human remains" have since been found.

Evidence recovered from the Titan arrived in St. John's in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada yesterday, which includes five major pieces of the submarine found in a large debris field near the bow of the Titanic. Among the pieces of the vessel, according to the BBC, are at least one titanium end cap, the sub's porthole with its window missing, a titanium ring, the landing frame, and the end equipment bay.

In a statement, the U.S. Coast Guard said that the Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) intends to transport the evidence to a port in the United States where it will undergo further analysis and testing. Medical professionals will likewise conduct a formal analysis of the human remains that were carefully recovered from within the wreckage.

Pelagic Research Services, company that owns the remotely operated vehicles that helped recover the Titan's remains, told CNN that it has "successfully completed" its offshore work.

In addition to analyzing debris from the vessel's wreckage, investigators also plan to interview witnesses and hold a public hearing for more witness testimony. The MBI, which is the highest level of investigation the Coast Guard conducts, will offer possible recommendations "to the proper authorities to pursue civil or criminal sanctions as necessary."

"I am grateful for the coordinated international and interagency support to recover and preserve this vital evidence at extreme offshore distances and depths," MBI Chair Captain Jason Neubauer said in a statement. “The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy. There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again.”

The OceanGate Expeditions submarine lost contact with its support vessel, the Polar Prince, approximately 90 minutes into its mission to tour the 111-year-old remains of the Titanic on June 18. The ensuing international search and rescue mission captured worldwide attention for days, before it was confirmed that the sub likely imploded when contact was lost.

The five men aboard who died were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British businessman and explorer Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakastani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood.