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OceanGate suspends exploration and commercial operations after the deadly implosion of its Titan submersible

<i>Oceangate/AFP/Getty Images/File</i><br/>OceanGate's Titan submersible is pictured.
Oceangate/AFP/Getty Images/File
OceanGate's Titan submersible is pictured.

By Kristina Sgueglia and Holly Yan, CNN

(CNN) — OceanGate – the owner of the Titan submersible that imploded during a voyage to the Titanic, killing all five people on board – says it has suspended its exploration and commercial operations, according to its website.

The company’s CEO, Stockton Rush, was among those who perished in the disaster in the North Atlantic Ocean last month.

“OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations,” the top of the company’s official website said Thursday. But the site still features highlight reels of equipment and expeditions, as well as descriptions of expedition offerings such as touring the Titanic wreckage.

Andrew Von Kerens, a spokesman for TrailRunner International, told CNN in a statement that OceanGate has “no additional information” beyond the notice posted to its website.

OceanGate hosted $250,000-a-ticket tourist excursions on the Titan submersible to the 111-year-old remains of the Titanic – about 12,500 feet below the ocean’s surface. That distance is about 10 times the height of the Empire State Building.

The Titan – a 23,000-pound vessel roughly the size of a minivan – was about 1 hour and 45 minutes into a dive toward the Titanic when it lost contact with its mother ship on June 18.

The Titan’s failure to resurface sparked a massive, international search – from the ocean’s swelling surface to its cold, blind depths – that captured the world’s attention for days.

On June 22, officials confirmed the Titan had suffered a “catastrophic implosion.”

The five men onboard have been identified as Rush; British businessman Hamish Harding; French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet; Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood; and Dawood’s 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood.

Since the tragedy, new details have emerged about warnings and safety concerns about the Titan submersible – including an ominous email from a former OceanGate Expeditions employee that the Titan could fail.

David Lochridge, who worked as an independent contractor for the company in 2015, had previously emailed another former OceanGate associate, Rob McCallum, about the submersible’s potential failing, CNN previously reported.

“I don’t want to be seen as a tattletale, but I’m so worried he kills himself and others in the quest to boost his ego,” Lochridge wrote about OceanGate’s CEO, Stockton Rush, according to The New Yorker.

Lochridge, who also worked for OceanGate as an employee between 2016 and 2018, wrote in the email that the submersible was “an accident waiting to happen.”

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