US nuclear-powered submarine hits submerged object in South China Sea

A nuclear powered US navy attack submarine has struck an object while submerged in international waters in the South China Sea, officials have said.

Eleven sailors were hurt – two suffered moderate injuries and the rest had minor scrapes and bruises, 官员说. All were treated on the sub.

In a brief statement on Thursday that provided few details of the incident, which happened five days ago, US Pacific Fleet said the USS Connecticut remained in a “safe and stable condition”, that there were no life-threatening injuries and the sub was still fully operational.

The Seawolf-class submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant was not affected, it added.

“The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed,”声明说, adding that the incident will be investigated.

The statement did not specify the location of the incident, but two navy officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details not announced publicly, said it happened in the South China Sea while the Connecticut was conducting routine operations.

The officials said the sub then headed toward port at Guam. They said the incident was not announced before Thursday in order to maintain operational security.

The officials said it was not yet clear what object the sub had struck but that it was not another submarine. One official said it could have been a sunken vessel, a sunken container or other uncharted object.

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