November 23, 2017 / 3:57 PM / in 10 months

Nuclear test ban body heard noise near Argentine sub's last position

VIENNA (Reuters) - An international nuclear test-ban body that runs a global network of listening posts designed to check for secret atomic blasts detected an “unusual signal” last week near where an Argentine submarine went missing, it said on Thursday.

People walk behind an Argentine national flag displayed on a fence, in support of the 44 crew members of the ARA San Juan submarine who are missing at sea, at an Argentine naval base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, November 22, 2017. The words on the flag read: "ARA San Juan, be strong". REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

The Vienna-based Comprehensive nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) runs monitoring stations equipped with devices including hydrophones - underwater microphones that scan the oceans for sound waves.

The “underwater impulsive event” detected on Nov. 15 was short, unusual and non-natural in origin, CTBTO hydroacoustic engineer Mario Zampolli told Reuters. “It could be consistent with an explosion but there is no certainty about this,” he said. [nL1N1NT0SL]

Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by Mark Heinrich

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