Officials: Damaged US Navy sub struck underwater mountain

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In this Dec. 15, 2016, photo, provided by the U.S. Navy, the Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) departs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for sea trials following a maintenance availability. A Navy official says a submarine that collided with an unknown underwater object in the South China Sea has arrived in port at Guam. The Navy says the USS Connecticut was conducting routine operations when it struck the object on Oct. 2, 2021. (Thiep Van Nguyen II/U.S. Navy via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy has determined that a submarine damaged in a collision in the South China Sea in early October struck a seamount, or underwater mountain, two defense officials said Monday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a public announcement. The Navy has yet to fully explain how or why the USS Connecticut struck the seamount or to reveal the extent of damage to the Seawolf-class submarine.

The Navy has said the submarine’s nuclear reactor and propulsion system were not damaged. The collision caused a small number of moderate and minor injuries to the crew. USNI News, which was first to report that the sub had struck a seamount, said damage to the forward section of the submarine damaged its ballast tanks.

The incident happened on Oct. 2 but was not reported by the Navy until five days later. The vessel made its way to Guam for a damage assessment, where it remains.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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