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US Identifies Wreckage of Cargo Ship El Faro


FILE - Tucker Bailey guides a towline through the A-frame while deploying the tow pinger aboard USNS Apache, Oct. 24, 2015.

U.S. investigators have positively identified wreckage found on the ocean floor off the Bahamas as the doomed cargo ship El Faro, which disappeared October 1 during a hurricane with 33 people on board. There were no survivors.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Monday that a search of the surrounding seabed will continue.

A U.S. Navy salvage team identified the wreckage early Monday at a depth of 4,500 meters after scouring the area for more than a week.

The NTSB said sonar shows the ship came to rest in an upright position, a discovery that could help salvage teams recover the ship's data recorder.

The El Faro was carrying cargo from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico when it got caught in Hurricane Joaquin - a powerful Category 4 storm with winds as high as 215 kilometers per hour.

The 240-meter vessel sent a satellite distress message shortly before authorities on land lost contact with the crew of 28 Americans and five Poles.

Officials believe the U.S.-flagged El Faro may have lost engine power, leaving it defenseless and unable to navigate near the eye of the hurricane.