55 Chinese Sailors Feared Dead After Submarine Gets ‘Caught in Trap’

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 09:41 AM, October 4, 2023
  • 977
55 Chinese Sailors Feared Dead After Submarine Gets ‘Caught in Trap’
Chinese submarine. For representation only. @Chinese Military

At least fifty-five Chinese sailors are believed to have lost their lives after their nuclear submarine apparently became ensnared in a trap intended for British sub-surface vessels in the Yellow Sea.

According to a confidential UK report cited by the Daily Mail, the crew members perished due to a catastrophic failure in the submarine's oxygen systems, leading to their poisoning. Among the deceased were the captain of the Chinese PLA Navy submarine '093-417,' identified as Colonel Xue Yong-Peng, and 21 other officers.

On August 21, while on a mission in the Yellow Sea, the submarine suffered an onboard accident, resulting in the tragic loss of 55 crew members, including 22 officers, 7 officer cadets, 9 petty officers, and 17 sailors. The cause of death is believed to be hypoxia due to a system malfunction. The submarine struck a chain and anchor obstacle used by the Chinese Navy to ensnare U.S. and allied submarines, leading to system failures that took six hours to repair. The crew was poisoned by the onboard oxygen system following this catastrophic failure.

Despite the gravity of the situation, there is currently no independent confirmation of the suspected loss of the Chinese submarine available to the public. China, in an official statement, has vehemently denied the incident.

The Daily Mail reached out to the Royal Navy for comments on the details contained in the UK report, but official sources declined to provide any statements or guidance. The UK report, based on defense intelligence, is classified at a high level of secrecy.

A British submariner found it plausible that the incident occurred and doubted China's willingness to seek international support due to obvious reasons. He suggested that if the submarine became trapped in the net system with low batteries, it could have led to air purifier and treatment system failures. This, in turn, might have triggered a shift to secondary systems that failed to maintain air quality, potentially causing asphyxia or poisoning. He noted that their equipment includes CO2 absorption and oxygen generation technology, implying that other nations might lack this capability.

The incident occurred in the waters near China's Shandong Province, where the Chinese Type 093 submarines have been in operation for the past 15 years, the report said. These vessels, measuring 351 feet in length, are equipped with torpedoes and are known for their reduced noise emissions, making them formidable assets in China's naval arsenal.

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