The alleged “catastrophic failure” of a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine caused the death of 55 sailors, The Times said. The news report was based on leaked British intelligence that said the incident took place in Yellow Sea on August 21. The submarine was identified as 093-417, which was armed with torpedoes. China has denied the loss of any submarine in the region, but the news report has been making waves across the world. The captain and 21 officers are among the dead, the report further said.
What happened to the Chinese submarine?
As per The Times report, the submarine was caught in a ‘chain and anchor obstacle’, which was laid there to trap the submarines of the US and allied nations.
This reportedly resulted in systems failure that required six hours of repair before the submarine could resurface. By then, the oxygen systems malfunctioned, resulting in the deaths of 55 crew members from hypoxia.
“The on-board oxygen system poisoned the crew after a catastrophic failure,” the British intelligence officials said in the report.
Concerns about water contamination
Though no independent confirmation of the suspected loss of the Chinese submarine has come to the public domain, experts have spoken about what this means for marine life.
“If the incident has occurred, the global silence is perplexing. A nuclear submarine sinking should lead to global attention because a nuclear reactor leak due to damage can have serious consequences, including water contamination,” a submarine expert told the EurAsian Times.
There are fears that structural failure with the submarine reactors could cause a release of highly radioactive fission products and lead to “a significant risk to life to those nearby and a public safety hazard to people in the big radius.”
All about Type-093attack submarines
These submarines entered service in the last 15 years. The vessels are 351-feet-long and are armed with torpedoes.
China has six Type-093 attack submarines, which have a displacement of 6,096 tonnes. The nuclear- powered submarines are designed to be quieter than previous models.