US Nuclear Submarine Hits Unknown Object in South China Sea

A nuclear submarine of the US Navy collided with an object in the South China Sea waters, military authorities said.

The collision happened while the submarine was submerged. The the incident did not result in any life-threatening injuries, the US military said. As many as 15 people suffered minor injuries like bruises and lacerations. Some injuries were termed 'moderate'.

U.S. submarine makes South Korea port call
The USS Michigan, an Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine, arrives at a naval base in Busan, South Korea, April 25, 2017. Reuters

'Remains Safe and Stable'

In the incident took place on Saturday, the submarine's nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not impacted and they remain operational.

"The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition," the Navy said, Reuters reported. It has not been disclosed what object hit the submarine.

South China Sea
South China Sea Reuters

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported, citing officials, that the submarine could have hit a sunken vessel or container.

Chinese navy sails through Miyako Strait, conducts more drills in Western Pacific
A file photograph of China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducting a drill in an area of South China Sea. Reuters

Increasingly Saturated

"The South China Sea has been increasingly saturated with naval vessels from a number of different countries. While there's been a lot of show of force by surface vessels you don't see the level of activity under the surface," Alexander Neill, a Singapore-based defence and security expert, told the BBC.

The incident took place in international waters in the South China Sea. The vessel is now moving to Guam.