On Monday, seven sailors were injured when a pilot of a US F-35 fighter plane crashed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
According to the US Navy, the incident occurred during a routine air mission in the South China Sea.
“On January 24, 2022, an F-35C Lightning II assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 suffered a landing accident on deck while the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was performing regular flying operations in the South China Sea. The pilot ejected safely from the plane and was rescued by a US military helicopter”, The United States Pacific Fleet said in a statement.
According to the statement, seven of the injured sailors were transported to Manila, Philippines, for treatment, where their status was classified as stable. According to the US Navy, the other four were treated by on-board medical professionals.
There was no information supplied on the cause of the event or the fate of the aircraft. The Pacific Fleet stated that the event was being investigated.
Following training with a Japanese naval ship in the Philippine Sea last week, the USS Vinson and another US carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and their strike groups resumed manoeuvres in the South China Sea on Sunday.
The South China Sea is one of China’s most sensitive territorial concerns, and it is a regular source of friction between the US and China.
The revelation of the US activities coincided with Taiwan announcing the latest major intrusion by China’s air force into its air defense identification zone – 39 aircraft – in a location near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the northern South China Sea.
Taiwan also reported an anti-submarine Y-8 in the Bashi Channel, which connects the Pacific to the South China Sea and divides the nation from the Philippines.