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U.S. Destroyer Fitzgerald Is Damaged in Collision Off Japan

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Damage on the starboard side of the American destroyer Fitzgerald on Saturday. Credit Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News, via Associated Press

TOKYO — A United States destroyer collided with a Philippine merchant vessel off the coast of Japan early Saturday morning, with seven Navy crewman reported missing, the Japanese Coast Guard said.

Masayuki Obara, an official with the coast guard, also said that a sailor had sustained a head injury and was unable to walk.

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The Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer, in the Sea of Japan this month. Credit Kelsey Adams/U.S. Navy, via Getty Images

The United States Seventh Fleet said it was working with the Japanese Coast Guard to arrange the medical evacuation of a sailor. The fleet said it was still determining the number of injuries; it did not comment on whether sailors were missing.

The American destroyer, the Fitzgerald, had recently participated in military exercises with two American aircraft carriers and ships from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.

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The Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal after the collision. Credit Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News, via Associated Press

The collision occurred at 2:30 a.m. local time about 54 nautical miles south of Yokosuka, Japan, where the United States has a naval base, the United States Seventh Fleet said in a statement. The crash damaged the starboard side of the destroyer and resulted in some flooding.

Footage from NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, showed extensive damage to the destroyer. The other vessel, the container ship ACX Crystal, appeared to have sustained some damage on its port side.

The Seventh Fleet said that a Navy ship, as well as aircraft and tugboats, were heading to the site to aid the Fitzgerald, which the Pentagon said had limited propulsion. The Japanese Coast Guard said it was also sending patrol ships and aircraft to assist.

Source: NYT > World

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