An unsettling event has taken place in the South China Sea, where a US nuclear submarine sustained damage in a collision. Most perplexing of all is that, according to the US Navy, nobody knows yet what it crashed into. The crash with the “unknown object” caused damage to the submarine as well as causing several injuries on board, and so the vessel is now on its way to Guam for a full assessment.
According to a report from CBS News, the US Navy confirmed in a statement on Thursday that a nuclear submarine known as the USS Connecticut collided with an unidentified object on October 2, "while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region." The sub itself is a fast-attack vessel powered by nuclear energy, so crashing into mysterious objects is less than ideal.
On top of the damage and injuries sustained, the occurrence is an unsettling one for international tensions in the region, as the area where the crash is reported to have taken place is one that’s seen more than its fair share of territorial disputes. Chinese officials have expressed “grave concern” over the crash and are demanding that more information be shared as to the submarine’s purpose for cruising, its condition, and the possibility of a nuclear leak into the marine environment.
According to the Navy statement, the submarine "remains in a safe and stable condition," and its nuclear constituents "were not affected and remain fully operational."