US Navy investigators identify ‘unknown object’ behind South China Sea nuclear submarine collision

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US Navy investigators have identified the “unknown object” that collided with a submarine in the South China Sea in October – an uncharted underwater mountain.

The USS Connecticut was in a “safe and stable condition” after the incident in the disputed waters, which provoked outrage from officials in China.

But the risk of fallout following damage to the nuclear-powered submarine allegedly led to the US deploying a so-called “nuke sniffer” plane to identify any leakage – leakage which the US denied took place.

A US Navy spokesman said: “The investigation determined USS Connecticut grounded on an uncharted seamount while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region.”

US Navy officials said two sailors had sustained moderate injuries and nine minor injuries, such as bruises and scrapes.

They said the sub headed towards port at Guam after the incident, and that it was not announced sooner in order to maintain operational security.

Photo – A file photo of the USS Connecticut (SSN 22) departs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for sea trials following a maintenance availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Thiep Van Nguyen II/released)

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