CHILLING footage reveals the claustrophobic conditions inside the stricken Titanic tourist sub – built from "improvised" stock including camping lights and a video game controller.
Rescuers are scrambling to locate the Titan submersible – which has been missing since Sunday with five people onboard – before the air supply runs out.
The £200k-a-head voyage promised five passengers a trip down 12,500ft to the wreck of Titanic at the floor of the Atlantic ocean.
However, fears are now being raised over the "improvised" and "experimental" nature of the vessel and the inability for the passengers inside to escape since they are bolted within.
Titan is understood to have lost contact with the Polar Prince just one hour and 45 minutes into the expedition and has not been seen or heard from since.
It's believed Brit billionaire Hamish Harding, French diving expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet and submarine boss Stockton Rush are among those missing.
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One of Pakistan's richest men, Shahzada Dawood, and his teenage son Suleman, are also on the sub, according to their family.
Made by OceanGate Expeditions, the cramped 22ft (6.7m) carbon fibre submersible has only one porthole at the front and does not have a GPS system.
The deep-sea sub is instead guided by text messages exchanged using an acoustic system with a team waiting helplessly above water.
Strange footage from inside the vessel reveals that is all unusually run by a Xbox-style controller and can mostly be operated using only one button.
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"It should be like an elevator, it shouldn't take a lot of skill," explained Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate, in an interview with CBS.
The sub operators themselves declared it was a "experimental" sub that "had not been approved by any regulatory body".
Journalist David Pogue travelled onboard the Titan last year and shared his concerns over some components of the sub seemed that "off-the shelf, sort of improvised".
He told the BBC: "You steer this sub with an Xbox game controller [and] some of the ballast is [built from] abandoned construction pipes."
And the inside lighting was bought from a camping shop.
He also explained that there is "no way" to communicate with the mini-van size vessel, nor can anyone inside the sub escape without external help.
Passengers are sealed within the main cabin by hefty bolts secured from the outside and have to be removed using external crew.
"There's no backup, there's no escape pod," he said. "It's get to the surface or die".
During an OceanGate Titanic expedition dive two months ago, passengers exposed the claustrophobic conditions onboard with bodies squeezed tightly next to each other as it descends into the deep.
The experienced French submersible pilot Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 73, described the set up as "very simple" and "very easy" to operate.
He also stressed that passengers can join in and act as crew onboard due to the simple nature of its controls.
However, in 2019 the pilot had previously made chilling comments that "something bad" might happen on a voyage.
He warned the Irish Examiner: "If you are 11m or 11km down, if something bad happens, the result is the same."
“When you’re in very deep water, you’re dead before you realise that something is happening."
The final ping showed Titan directly above the Titanic at around 3pm UK time on Monday, sources claim.
After that, no contact was had with the vessel at all.
It has sparked fears that Titan could be trapped in the wreckage of the Titanic, too deep for rescuers to access.
OceanGate's sub has the capacity for one pilot and four others – and it went down with oxygen supply to last 96 hours.
US and Canadian rescuers are racing against the clock to locate the missing sub as experts warn that the air supply is due to run out around midday on Thursday UK time.
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