U.S. Coast Guard and military aircraft Saturday are en route to the western Pacific, where a nuclear attack submarine ran aground, injuring several crew members — including at least one critically — according to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The USS San Francisco ran aground some 350 miles south of Guam — the nearest land mass — while it was conducting submerged operations. It has since resurfaced and is heading back to Guam, according to the USPF’s news release.
“At this point there does not seem to be damage to the (nuclear) reactor,” Lt. j.g. Adam Clampitt told CNN, from his base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The accident happened Saturday at noon, Guam time (Friday 9 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. Hawaii time).
The nuclear-powered vessel is a Los Angeles-class “fast attack” submarine. Clampitt says it was carrying four torpedo-tubes, which can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. It is the most common type of U.S. attack submarine in the naval fleet since 2004.
Clampitt said there are 137 crew members on board the USS San Francisco.
The nuclear submarine has a “limited medical staff on board,” he said. Most of the wounded suffered head injuries, Clampitt said.
“Our first concern is the safety of the crew,” Clampitt said.
The aircraft are bringing medical staff and investigators to assess the extent of the injuries and damage to the submarine.