Presumed human remains have been recovered from the wreckage of the Titan submersible, the US Coast Guard has said.
It comes after debris from the craft was brought ashore earlier on Wednesday.
Five men, including three British citizens, died when the submersible suffered a “catastrophic” implosion while attempting to view the wreck of the Titanic, officials believe.
In a statement, the US Coast Guard said: “United States medical professionals will conduct a formal analysis of presumed human remains that have been carefully recovered within the wreckage at the site of the incident.”
Captain Jason Neubauer, who is leading the investigation into the tragedy, added: “I am grateful for the coordinated international and interagency support to recover and preserve this vital evidence at extreme offshore distances and depths.
“The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy.
“There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again.”
At a previous news conference on Sunday, officials said investigators had been “taking all precautions” in case they found human remains on the sea floor while recovering debris.
Professor Susanne Neuer, a biological oceanographer from Arizona State University, told Sky News the implosion was likely rapid and “very quickly fatal” due to the enormous pressure deep in the ocean.
She added: “I am surprised that there are remains…. [but] obviously the body doesn’t just disappear”.
A frantic search and rescue operation began on 18 June after Titan lost communication with its mother ship, the Polar Prince, an hour and 45 minutes into the two-hour descent to the wreckage.
The vessel was reported missing eight hours after communication was lost.
But the rescue mission ended five days later when pieces of debris were found about 487m from the Titanic wreckage.
The three British citizens on board were billionaire Hamish Harding, and businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman.
Shahzada’s wife said on Tuesday that the pair were “best friends” who “belonged together”.
Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet and the chief executive of OceanGate, the company that owned the submersible, Stockton Rush, were also killed in the implosion.
New pictures on Wednesday showed several pieces of metal debris being unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St John’s, Newfoundland.
In one image a large, white piece of curved metal could be seen, while another bit of debris was filled with cables and other mechanical parts.
The debris was covered by large tarpaulin sheets before being lifted away by cranes.