US Navy ship collides with merchant ship


Japanese media, quoting the coast guard, said seven crew members of the destroyer remained unaccounted for. Neither Japanese nor American authorities immediately clarified what might have happened to the missing sailors.

The rare collision occurred in the area south of Yokosuka, a busy commercial waterway for commercial vessels sailing to and from Japan's two biggest container ports in Tokyo and Yokohama.

The US Navy in its statement mentioned it has consequently requested assistance from the Japanese coast guard, while the extent of US personnel injuries is now "being determined".

Earlier a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports indicated multiple injuries aboard the destroyer.

"There are seven Sailors unaccounted for; the ship and the Japanese Coast Guard continues to search for them", the U.S. 7th Fleet has confirmed.

US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said three sailors were medevaced.

Photo Credit: ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images ) Pacific Fleet said the extent of injuries and damage are "being determined", and the incident is under investigation, according to The Associated Press.

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The ship just underwent $21 million in repairs and upgrades in February, according to Stars and Stripes. Naval aircraft are also being readied to help. One sailor suffered a head injury, but the details of his or her condition have not been confirmed.

The damage to the ship is still being evaluated and the number of personnel injured has not been determined, according to the statement.

(6.20om Friday BST) that it had collided with the Fitzgerald south west of Yokusuka, Japan. The same account was previously reported by the Japanese Coast Guard to Japanese public TV channel NHK.

The Philippine ship is 29,060 tons and is 730 feet long, the coast guard said.

Japan's Coast Guard said none of the 20 crew members aboard the merchant vessel were injured.

A Japanese television news outlet captured overhead footage of the destroyer which appears to show crush damage to the starboard, or right, side of the ship, including its deckhouse.