Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Holy Trinity, a warship used to land the first Argentine forces in the Falklands War with Britain in 1982, has sunk, the navy said.Arturo Puricelli, the defence minister, said the loss of the Holy Trinity was due to “negligence in the best-case scenario, or an attack” aimed at making the government look bad. He did not go into detail.
The destroyer, which was retired from active service in 2004, took on water at the Puerto Belgrano naval base after a six-inch pipe burst, the navy said.
The minister later said, however, that he was surprised that the ship sank quickly while it was moored at the port.
First it started listing, he said. “So the breakdown must have been major, or someone opened a value to sink it,” he said.
Puricelli ordered the navy to launch an investigation, and said he harboured doubts because the ship was not that old, dating back just to the 1970s.
Authorities had planned to turn the 125-meter ship into a museum.
The vessel is significant historically because it unloaded a team of divers at Puerto Enriqueta on April 1, 1982, the day before Argentine troops invaded the British-controlled Falkland islands .
The 74-day war cost the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British troops, and ended in disaster for Argentina when its forces were routed by a British expeditionary force.
Britain has held the South Atlantic archipelago since 1833 but Buenos Aires claims they are occupied Argentine territory.
In recent months, the sovereignty dispute has again sparked tension between Buenos Aires and London. On March 10 and 11, islanders will vote on whether they want the retain their status as a British overseas territory.
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