Buenos Aires - In their last message, the crew of a missing Argentine submarine reported an electrical short-circuit caused by seawater which had started a fire, a TV channel reported Monday.
The final contact with the ARA San Juan, which has 44 crew members on board, was on November 15. Fifteen countries are involved in the search for it.
The submarine reported that seawater had entered the ventilation system, causing a battery on the diesel-electric vessel to short-circuit and start a fire, according to the text of the message, which was reported by the A24 television channel.
The search for the ARA San Juan extends for a 35-kilometer radius from an area about 250 miles off the coast of Argentina - around the location of an explosion that may have sent the vessel to the bottom of the ocean.
"Unfortunately, we still have not located or detected the San Juan submarine," Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said on Monday in Buenos Aires.