Sailors Injured, Missing After Destroyer Hits Merchant Vessel

The collision happened early Saturday off the coast of Japan
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2017 6:53 PM CDT
The US military says the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald, seen here June 1, collided early Saturday with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan.   (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelsey L. Adams/US Navy via AP)

(Newser) – A US Navy destroyer collided with a merchant vessel 56 nautical miles off the coast of Japan around 2:30am Saturday local time. The AP, citing Japanese media, reports one sailor on the USS Fitzgerald was injured and another seven were missing. The injured sailor was airlifted off the destroyer for treatment, ABC News reports. A US official speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity said there were multiple injuries aboard. In a statement, the Navy says "no reports of casualties at this time."

Aerial footage of the USS Fitzgerald showed a large dent in its side, and the Navy says the destroyer "experienced flooding in some spaces." After early reports that it couldn't travel under its own power, a Navy spokesperson said the destroyer was headed toward Japan. The merchant vessel, which was flying a Philippine flag, was also under its own power. The collision happened in a busy commercial waterway. These types of collisions are rare. (Read more Navy stories.)

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