Did China Just Lose 55 Sailors in a Nuclear Submarine Accident?

FOTOGRIN / shutterstock.com
FOTOGRIN / shutterstock.com

Communist China may have just lost 55 sailors in a nuclear submarine accident. China denies that any such thing happened, but British intelligence services believe it did. They believe that the sub got caught in one of the underwater traps that China deploys in the Yellow Sea in order to catch American and British submarines.

The Chinese use an underwater netting system with chains and anchors to trap and disable submarines. British intelligence says they caught one of their own Type 093 nuclear attack subs by accident. As Chinese sailors were working to repair the sub and resurface it, there was a catastrophic failure of the oxygen systems.

All 55 crew members, including 22 officers, seven officer cadets, nine petty officers, and 17 sailors, were poisoned to death. The captain of the sub, Colonel Xue Yong-Peng, is believed to be among those killed.

“I doubt the Chinese would have asked for international support for obvious reasons,” said one British submariner who talked to the Daily Mail. “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.”

China flatly denies the accident, but British intelligence agencies now believe the Type 093 sub is on the bottom of the Yellow Sea off the coast of Shandong Province. The Type 093 is one of China’s newer attack subs, having come online in the past 15 years. They’re known for being extremely quiet, and it’s believed that they only have six in service. Well, maybe five now.

Both the British and American navies now have confirmation that China’s underwater submarine traps appear to work. British and American subs are also equipped with kits that absorb CO2 and emit oxygen to prevent these types of accidents. Apparently, the Chinese haven’t stolen that technology from us yet.