DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - A former Duke University student who did research on the Confederate submarine that was the first submersible to sink an enemy warship says she has figured out how the crew died.
Rachel Lance says the blast wave from the gunpowder charge pulverized the lungs, brains and other soft tissue of the eight members of the H.L. Hunley crew in February 1864, killing them instantly off the South Carolina coast.
Lance says she used a 6-foot (2-meter) model of the Hunley filled with sensors and floating in water to test her theory, subjecting it to dozens of explosions.
Lance got a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering last year.
Friends of the Hunley Executive Director Kellen Correia says the group preserving the sub had no comment on Lance's research and continues its own work.