BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s government has replaced the country’s navy chief amid an ongoing probe into last month’s disappearance of a submarine carrying 44 crew members, state media confirmed Saturday.
Defense Minister Oscar Aguad asked Adm. Marcelo Srur to step down and has named an interim replacement, state-run news agency Telam reported.
An investigative commission also will be formed that is made up of three submariners.
One of that panel’s members will be the father of Corvette Capt. Jorge Ignacio Bergallo, who was second in command of the ARA San Juan and one of its 44 crew members.
That commission will be independent of the Defense Ministry, have its own, unlimited budget and be tasked with “arriving at the truth of what happened with the vessel,” Telam reported.
The ARA San Juan last made contact with navy command on Nov. 15 while traveling from the southern port of Ushuaia to its base in Mar del Plata, near Buenos Aires.
Ships from several countries are continuing to search for the submarine some 400 kilometers (250 miles) off the Argentine coast.
The search is focused on an area where an explosion was detected near the sub’s last known location on the day contact was lost.