Wreckage believed to be U.S. cargo ship El Faro found near the Bahamas

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A search team near the Bahamas has located a wreckage believed to be that of the U.S.-flagged cargo ship El Faro, which sank near the islands earlier this month after being caught up in Hurricane Joaquin, killing all 33 crew members on board, officials say.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement late on Saturday that a search team on board the USNS Apache had located the wreckage at a depth of about 15,000 feet (4,570 meters) in the vicinity of El Faro’s last known position, which was about 35 nautical miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Crooked Island.

Sophisticated sonar equipment towed from the U.S. Navy ship first detected the wreckage at about 1:36 p.m. ET on Saturday using a side-scanning sonar system called Orion. Images from the Orion showed a target which is consistent with a 790-foot cargo ship. The vessel appears to be in an upright position and in one piece, the NTSB said.

The search team plans to deploy a deep ocean remotely operated vehicle called CURV 21 as early as Sunday to survey and confirm the identity of the wreckage.

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