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New Delhi: At a time when the US and China relation is confronting major challenges, a nuclear-powered submarine of the United States Navy has hit an unidentified “object” in international waters in the South China Sea, according to news agency AP.
What did the US say?
The US navy officials issued a statement on Thursday giving details of the incident saying there were “no life-threatening injuries” and that the submarine remains “fully operational”. However, it didn’t offer any details into the nature of the object that the vessel encountered.
Known as USS Connecticut, the Seawolf-class nuclear-powered submarine struck into the said ‘object’ five days ago, but the incident was only reported on Thursday keeping in mind the operational security.
In its brief statement, the US Pacific Fleet did not mention much about the object but clarified that Connecticut remains in a “safe and stable condition”. The submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant also remains unaffected, the statement noted.
“The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed,” the US Navy said. It also informed that the incident will be investigated.
According to the sources in the US Navy, the incident occurred in the South China Sea while the USS Connecticut was conducting routine operations. According to the sources, there is no clarity about the object that the submarine hit underwater, but it was definitely not another submarine. One of the officials said that it could have been a sunken vessel, a container, or any other sort of uncharted object.
The impact of the encounter was noticeable to everyone on board the submarine, the officials said. Two sailors sustained moderate injuries, while at least nine others had minor injuries like scrapes and bruises. Following the encounter, the submarine headed toward port at Guam for further inspection, they added.
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