U.S. officials say a U.S. nuclear submarine struck an “unknown object” while sinking in the Asia-Pacific region, injuring several sailors.
According to them, the cause of the incident on Saturday (10/02) is not clear. The submarine is “fully operational”.
Anonymous officials told U.S. media that 11 sailors were injured in a collision in international waters in the South China Sea.
The incident took place amid rising tensions in the region.
The U.S. Navy says the damage is still being assessed and that the submarine’s nuclear reactor plant and its locations have not been affected.
However, the report did not provide details of where the incident occurred or the number of people injured, only states that the injuries were not life-threatening.
However, two officials quoted by the Associated Press reported that two of the 11 sailors who were injured had injuries classified as “moderate”. They were all treated on the submarine.
The officials said the incident occurred while the submarine was carrying out routine operations and the Navy did not release the news until Thursday (10/07) to maintain operational safety.
According to the AB, the subject of the USS Connecticut collision was not another submarine, officials said.
One of the officers quoted by the agency said it may have been a sunken ship, container or other unknown object.
The submarine was later reported to be heading for the US part of Guam.
USNI News, a website specializing in the U.S. Navy, said the last known incident in which a submerged U.S. submarine struck another underwater object was the USS colliding with an underwater mountain near San Francisco Guam. A sailor died in the incident.
Controversy over the South China Sea
USS Connecticut has been operating in one of the most controversial parts of the world. China claims most of the South China Sea, but is not accepted by its neighbors and the United States.
The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have been competing for decades over China’s maritime rights, but tensions have steadily increased in recent years.
The United States has supported many countries in this regional dispute.
This is the largest defense agreement between the three countries since World War II (1939-45), according to defense and defense analysts. Although the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have been allies for decades, the agreement formalizes and deepens their security cooperation.
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