USS Fitzgerald crash: Seven navy crew missing off Japan

Posted on Posted in Africa, WORLD

Media captionUSS Fitzgerald damaged by the crash

Seven US Navy crew members are missing after their ship collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan.

Among the injured is the USS Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, who was taken to hospital by helicopter.

The destroyer collided with the container ship about 56 nautical miles (104km) south-west of Yokosuka.

Aerial images showed heavy damage to the Navy ship’s starboard side after the collision at about 02:30 local time on Saturday (18:30 BST Friday).

The ship’s commanding officer, Cdr Bryce Benson, was in a stable condition after being transferred to US Naval Hospital Yokosuka, according to Navy officials.

Two other sailors were flown to hospital by helicopter for treatments for “lacerations and bruises”, said the US 7th Fleet via Twitter.

It said earlier that the USS Fitzgerald had experienced flooding in some areas, and the full extent of injuries was being determined.

It also said the 154-metre (505ft) ship was now on its way to Yokosuka – under its own power, but with limited propulsion.


One of the most advanced warships in the world – Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, BBC News, Tokyo

The area where the collision took place is extremely busy, with shipping heading in and out of Tokyo bay.

However, the USS Fitzgerald is one of the most advanced warships in the world – with highly sophisticated radars systems.

There will now be lots of questions about why its crew failed to avoid collision with a 200m (700ft) long container ship.


The coast guard said the ACX Crystal container ship carried a Filipino flag and weighed just under 30,000 tonnes, about three times that of the USS Fitzgerald.

It sustained lighter damage to the port bow, according to Japanese national broadcaster NHK.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The ACX Crystal is about 222m long to the 154m-USS Fitzgerald

In a statement released on social media, US Navy operations chief Adm John Richardson said: “As more information is learnt we will be sure to share it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public. […]

All our thoughts and concerns are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families.”

USS Fitzgerald crash: Seven navy crew missing off Japan

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