Entire crew of Chinese submarine feared dead after getting caught in death trap meant for US and British vessels

Chinese Navy's nuclear-powered submarine Long March 11

China has denied the loss of the vessel

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 04/10/2023

- 07:06

Updated: 04/10/2023

- 08:15

At least 55 soldiers of the Chinese PLA Navy submarine ‘093-417’ are feared dead after their submarine sunk in the Yellow Sea

At least 55 Chinese soldiers aboard a nuclear-powered submarine are feared dead after it caught in a trap intended for American and British vessels and sunk, according to leaked intelligence reports.

A leaked British intelligence report has said that the seamen were poisoned due to a lack of air following a failure of the submarine’s oxygen system.

Both China and Taiwan have denied the loss of the vessel in the Yellow Sea.

It also seems that Beijing refused to request international assistance for its sunken sub.

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The captain, as well as 21 officers of the Chinese PLA Navy submarine ‘093-417’ are understood to be among the deceased.

The UK report 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. 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.”

The Mail approached the Royal Navy to discuss the secret report, but they declined to comment.

A British submariner gave this explanation for the sinking: “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.

ChinaPresident of the People's Republic of China Xi JinpingReuters

“Which would have reverted to secondary systems and subsequently and plausibly failed to maintain the air. Which led to asphyxia or poisoning.

“We have kit which absorbs CO2 and generates oxygen in such a situation. It is probable that other nations do not have this kind of tech.”

Rumours circulated online a month ago about an incident involving a submarine, but this was denied by Beijing.

China has six Type 093 attack submarines. They have been in operation for the past 15 years.

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