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Seven Americans still missing after destroyer's collision as search continues
18 June 2017, 01:49 | Guillermo Sutton
Seven American sailors are unaccounted for after a Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, early Saturday local time, the Navy said.
The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement that the crash damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room.
The Navy said that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. The USS Fitzgerald is an Aegis guided missile destroyer, and is based in an area where many fear that World War 3 could begin.
Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Rear Adm. Greg Fenton, echoed the same message, saying, "Navy Region Japan and the shore enterprise are 100% committed to providing support to these families during this hard time". "All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families", he also said.
The names of missing sailors were being withheld until families had been notified.
Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families.
The USS Fitzgerald was back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo on Saturday with extensive damage to its hull.
Several U.S. Navy aircraft, as well as Japanese Coast Guard and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters, ships and aircraft were deployed to render assistance to the Fitzgerald, a release said.
Some US lawmakers as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have voiced solidarity with the victims and their families.
It wasn't clear yet what caused the nighttime collision between the destroyer and a container ship four times its size.
The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that seven crew members of a U.S. Navy destroyer are missing after a collision with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship off the coast of Japan. "Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance", U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post on Saturday.
Twenty crew members were aboard the container and no one was injured, another Japanese coastguard spokesman said, adding that the vessel was separately sailing back to a Tokyo port.
Water was being pumped out of flooded areas, and it was unclear how long it would take to get into the crushed mid-right side of the ship once it was at the pier in Yokosuka, the statement said. So far, at least three sailors are said to have been evacuated.
In Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is closely monitoring reports of the collision between USS Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal at around 1:30 a.m. (Manila time).
Two other crew members suffered cuts and bruises and were evacuated, it said.
"So anxious. Just need to hear she is OK".
The ACX Crystal weighs 29,060 tons and is 222 meters (730 feet) long, the coast guard said, much larger than the 8,315-ton Navy destroyer.
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