Argentine destroyer that led war against Britain sinks, a symbol of decay for once-proud navy

Published January 23, 2013

| Associated Press

Argentina's defense chief says he's ashamed over the sinking of a mothballed Navy destroyer, an incident that critics say reflects the abandonment of a once-proud fleet.

The ARA Trinidad led Argentina's 1982 sea war against Britain, but has long been used for spare parts.

The Navy said a broken pipe flooded the ship, but Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli says he suspects negligence or sabotage, and denies that budget cuts are to blame.

Puricelli told Radio 10 on Wednesday that "When the president asks me, I'll be ashamed, frankly, to tell her that a boat sank while tied to the dock."

Opposition congressmen blamed years of disinvestment that they said has left Argentina ill-equipped to defend its seas and sovereignty.

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