Curated By: Saurabh Verma
Last Updated: June 20, 2023, 17:33 IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
A prominent Pakistani businessman and his son are among five people aboard a submersible that has gone missing while exploring the wreckage of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, their family said Tuesday.
The 21-foot (6.5-meter) tourist craft, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, began its descent on Sunday but lost contact with the surface less than two hours later, according to authorities.
Shahzada Dawood — the vice-chairman of Karachi headquartered conglomerate Engro — and his son Suleman were aboard the vessel, which is equipped with only 96 hours of oxygen supply, a family statement said.
“As of now, contact has been lost with their submersible craft and there is limited information available,” the statement read.
“A rescue effort that is being jointly led by multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies is underway to reestablish contact with the submersible and bring them back safely,” it added.
“We are very grateful for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to request everyone to pray for their safety.”
Engro has an array of investments in energy, agriculture, petrochemicals and telecommunications. At the end of 2022 the firm announced a revenue of 350 billion rupees ($1.2 billion).
Shahzada’s father Hussain Dawood is regularly listed among Pakistan’s richest men by the domestic press.
Shahzada’s profile on Engro’s website said he also serves as a trustee on the board of The Dawood Foundation — a high-profile family education charity founded in 1960.
He was educated in the United States and Britain, the profile said.
Coastguards are scanning the remote area of the North Atlantic where the Titanic rests 400 miles (650 kilometres) off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, and some 13,000 feet (4,000 metres) underwater.
Another passenger aboard the missing craft has been identified as British businessman Hamish Harding.