New study suggests why Oceangate submersible might have imploded

New study suggests why Oceangate submersible might have imploded
Macklemore Went On An OceanGate Submersible Dive To Find Shark
unbranded - Entertainment / VideoElephant

The Titan submersible dominated headlines in the summer of 2023, and new information is still being uncovered from the tragedy.

The Oceangate submersible imploded while carrying five people last June. OceanGate CEO Rush, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son Suleman Dawood all died in the implosion.

Now, a new study has revealed that craft could have imploded as a result of “micro-buckling”.

Researchers from the University of Houston have put forward a theory that imperfections in the structure of the vessel gradually weakened over time as the craft regularly ventured beneath the surface.

Then, the pressure proved too much for the craft when the implosion took place on June 18 last year.


The research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and states that the “slenderness” of the craft made it more likely to collapse.

“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,” one of the paper’s authors Roberto Ballarini told the New York Post.

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

The authors studied vessels of a similar shape and material to the Titan submersible, and could not pinpoint exactly where failures might have taken place on the craft.

Ballarini said: “This randomness has profound implications for the statistics of the critical buckling pressure of the shell.”

Sign up for our free indy100 weekly newsletter

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings

The Conversation (0)