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Possible debris from the doomed cargo ship El Faro, which sunk to the bottom of the ocean earlier this month after suffering a "hull breach" and power failure in the midst of Hurricane Joaquin, has washed ashore in the Bahamas, according to a report published Thursday.
A large container fragment is one of several items that have come ashore on the islands of San Salvador and Exuma in the Bahamas, island officials told local newspaper the Nassau Guardian.
A photo from the newspaper appears to show the container at the edge of a beach. The container number on the fragment can be traced to a unit that according to software from TOTE Maritime, the owner of the sunken ship, was loaded and set sail on the El Faro.
San Salvador and Exuma Island officials told the Nassau Guardian that that several items believed to be from the El Faro had washed ashore in recent days.
San Salvador Island Administrator Theophilus Cox told the newspaper that residents were collecting items "that were believed to be on the ship," which included toiletries, personal items and the portion of the container that was found on Exuma Island.
Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board officials have not confirmed the debris is from the El Faro.
The NTSB said in a statement Thursday night that it has not received any confirmed reports of debris from El Faro being recovered in the Bahamas.
"But if debris is recovered that is associated with El Faro, we would be interested in documenting materials related to vital systems such as lifesaving equipment," NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said in the statement.
A Coast Guard spokesperson said, "there is no Coast Guard involvement at this time in regards to any investigation of any salvage or debris."
The El Faro was carrying 33 crew members when it went missing on Thursday Oct. 1. Two days earlier it had set off from Jacksonville, Florida, en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Joaquin was just a tropical storm.
But an hour and a half after the ship left port, a forecast from the National Hurricane Center warned that Joaquin was moving closer to the Bahamas and the El Faro's route.
By that Thursday, the crew reported that the ship had lost power and was taking on water and listing at 15 degrees.
It was the last contact that was made with the ship.