Subway branch criticised for 'distasteful' billboard making light of Titanic sub tragedy

4 July 2023, 15:08

The Subway branch was slammed for its 'distasteful' joke
The Subway branch was slammed for its 'distasteful' joke. Picture: Twitter/OceanGate

By Kit Heren

A branch of fast-food chain Subway has been slammed for an advert that poked fun at the Titanic sub tragedy that claimed the lives of five people.

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The Titan submersible imploded in June on its way down to visit the wreck of the Titanic on the seabed, killing all five men onboard.

Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, the company that manufactured the Titan, Shahzada Dawood, 58, and his son Suleman, 19, along with UK billionaire Hamish Harding and French explorer Paul-Henry Nargeolet.

It was not immediately clear that the Titan had been destroyed, and its disappearance sparked a huge search-and-rescue effort over several days.

A Subway franchise in the town of Rincon in the US state of Georgia, made a joke about the sub's fate.

Read more: Final image of UK businessman and his son before they boarded Titanic tourist sub on Father's Day

Read more: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush hired 'university interns' to design electrical system of Titan sub

The Subway branch made a 'distasteful' joke
The Subway branch made a 'distasteful' joke. Picture: Twitter

"Our subs don't implode," a billboard outside the store read.

The quip immediately drew a backlash from observers, who branded it tasteless.

"This is at your store in Rincon, GA," wrote one user. "Not only is it distasteful, it’s just sad. Do better."

"A little too soon. Still chuckled," another wrote.

News of the Subway franchise's joke reached head office, who said it wasn't a good idea.

Read more: 'I'm worried he kills himself and others in quest to boost his ego': Ex-OceanGate worker's email about CEO Stockton Rush

Titan sub
The Titan sub imploded in June. Picture: Getty

The company said in a statement: "We have been in contact with the franchise about this matter and made it clear that this kind of comment has no place in our business."

But others saw the funny side. One Twitter user said that they saw nothing wrong with the joke.

"From personal experience I have never had my subway implode," they added.