U.S. Navy destroyer collided with merchant ship off the coast of Japan

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of US Navy has collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship, MV ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan early Saturday morning.

A Navy statement said that the collision occurred 56 nautical miles (103 km) southwest of Yokosuka, home to the US Navy 7th Fleet. The Navy said the collision happened at about 2.30am local time , while the Japanese Coast Guard said it took place at 1.30am local time.

Most of the 200+ sailors were asleep in their compartments, some of which were reportedly flooded.

The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from a Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the early hours of Saturday morning that it had collided with the Fitzgerald.

The Japan coast guard dispatched five patrol ships and an aircraft carrying medics to the site for search and rescue operations.

The Fitzgerald suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline, causing “significant damage” and flooding to two berthing spaces and other areas of the ship, the Navy said.

Aided by tug boats, the USS Fitzgerald arrived back on Saturday at Yokosuka, a statement from the navy said.

The bodies of a number of sailors who were missing were found in flooded compartments of the damaged ship, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said on Sunday. Japanese media has reported that all seven of the sailors who had been reported missing were found dead.

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