Navy says some members of the nuclear-powered USS Connecticut’s crew suffered minor injuries in collision.
The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) arrives at Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit in July. The US Navy said on Thursday it had hit an ‘object’ while on underwater patrol in international waters leaving some crew with minor injuries
A US nuclear-powered submarine hit an “object” while submerged in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region, injuring some of the crew, the United States Navy has said.
None of the sailors on board the USS Connecticut suffered life-threatening injuries, the Navy said in a brief statement on Thursday.
“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition,” the statement said. “USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational.”
The statement did not elaborate on what the vessel collided with, the location of the incident or the number of sailors who were injured.
US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency the incident took place in the South China Sea and that “fewer than 15 people” suffered minor injuries such as bruises and cuts. Two of the injuries were categorised as “moderate”, Reuters reported.
“The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority,” the statement said, adding that the incident was under investigation.
The South China Sea is one world’s most disputed and economically significant waterways. China claims almost the entire area under its controversial nine-dash line and has built artificial islands and set up military outposts in recent years.
Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines also claim parts of the sea, as does Taiwan.