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Damaged US submarine struck underwater mountain in South China Sea, Navy says

US Navy Sub Collision
Posted at 12:36 PM, Nov 02, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense officials say the U.S. Navy has determined that a submarine damaged in a collision in early October struck a seamount, or underwater mountain.

A full explanation of how and why the USS Connecticut struck the seamount in the South China Sea has not yet been made public.

The incident happened on Oct. 2 but was not reported by the Navy until five days later. It resulted in a small number of minor to moderate injuries.

The vessel eventually made its way to Guam for an assessment of the damage.

The Navy has said the submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant was not damaged.

China is accusing the U.S. of a “lack of transparency and responsibility" regarding the accident last month.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson says the U.S. should provide full details of the incident in the South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over the crucial waterway, through which trillions of dollars of international trade pass each year.

Six governments claim territory in the area and the U.S. insists that freedom of navigation be maintained, reinforcing that with regular military and naval maneuvers in the region.