US nuclear-powered submarine crash investigation findings

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The causes of the US nuclear-powered submarine “USS Connecticut” which crashed in the South China Sea have been revealed.

The incident occurred last month and according to an investigation that was released yesterday, Tuesday 2 November, the cause of the accident was a collision with a previously uncharted undersea mountain range.

Until now, it was unknown what the nuclear-powered submarine had collided with. The event took place in the disputed waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean. At least 11 sailors were injured although none were seriously injured.

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The event forced the submarine to head from the South China Sea to the island of Guam for repairs.

The nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Connecticut, had been operating in the disputed seaway when it struck an object on October 2, but it was not determined at the time what the vessel had struck.

“The investigation determined that the ‘USS Connecticut’ was stranded on an unexplored seamount while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region,” a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, which operates in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, told CNN.


Although the “Seawolf” class submarine suffered some damage and several of its crew were injured, the Navy specified that the nuclear propulsion plant was left intact as a result of the accident and none of those injured were in serious condition.

The investigation has been submitted to Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the US Seventh Fleet, for review, according to sources.

Thomas will decide whether “follow-up actions, including accountability, are appropriate.”



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