Several sailors suffered minor injuries when a US Navy submarine collided with an unidentified object last weekend in the South China Sea, multiple reports indicated Thursday.
The US Pacific Fleet said in a statement that the fast-attack sub USS Connecticut struck the object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2. 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 propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed,” the statement concluded. “The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”
The Pacific Fleet did not specify the USS Connecticut’s location when the incident occurred, saying the vessel was “operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region.” However, the Associated Press and USNI News reported the collision took place in the South China Sea while the sub was conducting routine operations.
Both outlets reported that the sub was heading toward port at Guam and the incident had not been announced earlier in order 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 had minor injuries like scrapes and bruises. All were treated on board the submarine.
It is unclear what object the vessel had hit, but the AP reported investigators had ruled out another submarine. One official suggested to the outlet that it could have been a sunken vessel, a sunken container or other uncharted object.
The collision is not the first unfortunate incident to befall the USS Connecticut. Earlier this year, crew members on board the sub complained of a months-long bedbug infestation and alleged that commanders had been slow to fix the problem. A Navy spokeswoman denied that any bedbugs had been found on board the sub before February of this year.
With Post wires