Several sailors suffered minor injuries after a U.S. Navy submarine collided with an unidentified object last weekend in the South China Sea, several reports said Thursday.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement that the fast-moving submarine USS Connecticut hit the object while it was submerged on the afternoon of October 2nd. The statement noted that there were “no life-threatening injuries” and added that the sub was “in a safe and stable condition.”
“USS Connecticut’s nuclear power plants and space were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the rest of the submarine is being assessed, “the statement said. “The US Navy has not asked for help. The incident will be investigated. ”
The Pacific Fleet did not indicate the location of the USS Connecticut when the incident occurred, saying the vessel “operated in international waters of the Indo-Pacific.” However, the Associated Press and USNI News reported that the collision took place in the South China Sea while the sub was performing routine operations.
Both outlets reported that the sub was on its way to the port of Guam and the incident had not been announced previously to maintain operational security.
The Associated Press, citing two Navy officials, reported that two sailors aboard the USS Connecticut sustained moderate injuries and about nine others suffered minor injuries such as scratches and bruises. All were treated aboard the submarine.
It is unclear which object the vessel had hit, but the AP reported that investigators had ruled out another submarine. An official suggested the socket could have been a submerged vessel, a submerged container or another unknown object.
The collision is not the first unfortunate incident to hit the USS Connecticut. Earlier in the year, crew members on board the sub complained of a month-long bed bug infestation, claiming that commanders had been slow to resolve the issue. A spokeswoman for a navy denied that bedbugs had been found on board the sub before February this year.
With Post wires