55 Chinese sailors are feared dead after their nuclear submarine reportedly got stuck in its own trap and they ran out of oxygen.
According to UK intelligence, the sub was snared by its own chain and anchor device meant to catch Western vessels lurking off China’s coast.
The crew apparently suffocated to death onboard after the 351ft Shang class type-093 sub’s oxygen systems failed. It is not clear whether the trap mangled the oxygen system – or if the crew had already suffocated before the sub sank.
The secret UK report said the trap was designed to ensnare British and US vessels in the Yellow sea off China’s Shandong province. The captain is believed to be among the 55 men who died, as well as 21 of his officers.
Beijing has said that news of the sub’s destruction is “completely false”.
It also appears they refused to ask for international assistance in saving the sub. The Chinese PLA Navy sub is thought to be a cutting-edge Type 093 equipped with torpedoes and silent “ghost” engines.
A classified briefing obtained by the Mail reads: “Intelligence reports that on 21st of August there was an onboard accident whilst carrying out a mission in the Yellow Sea.
“Incident happened at 08.12 local resulting in the death of 55 crew members: 22 officers, 7 officer cadets, 9 petty officers, 17 sailors.”
A British submarine officer said: “It is plausible that this occurred and I doubt the Chinese would have asked for international support for obvious reasons. “If they were trapped on the net system and the submarine’s batteries were running flat (plausible) then eventually the air purifiers and air treatment systems could have failed.”
They went on to explain that this would have subsequently threatened the air in the sub, leading to “asphyxia or poisoning”.
The Chinese 093 submarines, armed with torpedoes, were developed over the last 15 years.
They’re considered to be some of the more modern submarines in the Chinese Navy’s arsenal and there appear to be six in service. The intelligence report continued “Dead include the captain Colonel Xue Yong-Peng.
“Our understanding is death caused by hypoxia due to a system fault on the submarine. “The submarine hit a chain and anchor obstacle used by the Chinese Navy to trap US and allied submarines.
“This resulted in systems failures that took six hours to repair and surface the vessel. “The onboard oxygen system poisoned the crew after a catastrophic failure.”
© 2023, GDC. © GDC and www.globaldefensecorp.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to www.globaldefensecorp.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.