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NTSB Releases Haunting Video of El Faro Wreckage on Ocean Floor

The first video footage of the wreckage from the El Faro, the containership that was carrying four crewmen from Maine when it sank during a hurricane in the Bahamas last October, was released Jan. 3 by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The underwater images are haunting, a reminder of the storm's savagery and the remote location of the 33-member crew's final resting place — about 3 miles below the ocean's surface.

Among the photos were ghostly images of twisted beams and metal, a microwave oven, a printer and a vehicle with a sunroof.

The NTSB released the images in conjunction with a report about the El Faro on "60 Minutes," the CBS News program. The program was titled, "Lost in the Bermuda Triangle." The El Faro left Jacksonville, Florida, on Sept. 29 bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship was carrying 391 containers topside and 294 trailers and vehicles below deck.

The NTSB, which has been investigating the cause of the sinking, also released the accident docket — documents containing nine photographs of the wreckage.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said in a news release that the agency also plans to provide more than 47 minutes of video — recorded by a cable-controlled underwater recovery vehicle — to the public at what he called a "nominal cost." In addition, NTSB released about two minutes of video footage that was uploaded to the agency's YouTube channel.

Although the Navy was able to locate the ship — the El Faro lies nearly 3 miles down in the Atlantic Ocean — the investigation has been stymied because the El Faro's voyage data recorder, or black box, has not been found.

"This is the most difficult and complex investigation I have ever worked on in my 17 years with the National Transportation Safety Board," Tom Roth-Roffy, NTSB's lead investigator, told CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley. "We've experienced this sort of challenge before on other investigations ,and we're hopeful that we will be able to determine the cause of the sinking."

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By Dennis Hoey
Portland (Maine) Press Herald


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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