Argentine destroyer that led war against Britain sinks
Argentine destroyer ARA Santisima Trinidad lies on its side at the naval base in Puerto Belgrano, Argentina, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/La Nueva Provincia)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 2:13PM EST
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentina's defence 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 Defence 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.