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Thyssenkrupp has offered help to Argentina over disappeared submarine

A logo of ThyssenKrupp AG is pictured outside the ThyssenKrupp headquarters in Essen, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Thyssenkrupp, has offered assistance to Argentinian authorities in an investigation into the disappearance of a submarine last month, a spokesman said on Friday.

The ARA San Juan was delivered in 1985 and built by a unit of Thyssen AG, which merged with Krupp to form Thyssenkrupp in 1999.

“We have offered our support for the technical investigation into this tragedy and are in contact with the Argentinian navy in this respect,” the spokesman said.

He said maintenance of the submarine was not conducted by Thyssenkrupp.

The submarine went missing on Nov. 15 with 44 crew members aboard in South Atlantic waters. The navy said on Nov. 27 that water that entered the submarine’s snorkel caused its battery to short circuit before it went missing.

The tragedy underscored what some critics have described as the parlous state of Argentina’s military, which has faced dwindling funding for years.

German magazine WirtschaftsWoche earlier reported that a delegation of the Argentinian Navy had travelled to Kiel in northern Germany to discuss questions about the submarine with Thyssenkrupp. It did not identify its sources.

Argentinian President Mauricio Macri has called for a “serious and deep” investigation into the incident.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Jason Neely