Debris scattered over a large area at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines indicates at least one underwater explosion had torn apart the massive Japanese World War II battleship Musashi 70 years ago.

Experts from a research team analyzing a live feed from an unmanned underwater probe Friday say they believe the Musashi suffered at least one magazine explosion while descending in the 1,000-meter (3,280.84-foot) deep sea.

The Musashi sank in October 1944 in the Sibuyan Sea during the battle of Leyte, losing half of its 2,400 crew. It was last seen disappearing into the water in one piece.

The research team, sponsored by Microsoft co-founder and entrepreneur Paul Allen, was the first to successfully locate the ship, just ahead of the 70th anniversary of the war's end.