Daily US Times: A US nuclear submarine hit an “unknown object” while submerged in waters around the South China Sea, causing more than a dozen sailors injured.
US officials said fifteen sailors of USS Connecticut had minor injuries when the submarine collided with the object on Saturday.
They added that it was not clear what had caused the collision.
The collision comes as mounting tensions in the highly-disputed region in the South China Sea over a recent uptick of Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone.
The submarine is now headed towards the US territory of Guam, a US Navy spokesperson said.
In a statement, a US Navy spokesperson said: “USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational,” adding that the extent of damage to the submarine was still being assessed.
The USS Connecticut was operating in the South China Sea, one of the most contested regions in the world.
China claims most of the sea, but surrounding countries and the US disagree.
The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia have all been disputing China’s claim to almost all of the sea for decades but tension steadily increased in recent years.
The United States has backed many of these countries in this territorial dispute.
The incident comes just weeks after Australia, the US and UK agreed a historic security pact in the Asia-Pacific, known as Aukus, in what’s seen as an effort to counter China.
The security partnership will see the US share information with Australia to construct its own nuclear powered submarines.
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