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Seven US Navy Sailors Unaccounted For in Wake of Crash Off Japan Coast

© NHK TVUSS Fitzgerald Crash
USS Fitzgerald Crash - Sputnik International
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The Japanese Coast Guard has confirmed that seven US Navy ship members have not been accounted for following a crash between the USS Fitzgerald and a massive 29,000 ton-Philippine merchant ship and one injured sailor has been evacuated.

A crash between the US Navy destroyer and the ACX Cyrstal container vessel caused the warship to start taking on water. The US Navy and 7th Fleet report that casualties are known "at this time." 

Damaged USS Fitzgerald - Sputnik International
US Navy Destroyer Crashes Into Merchant Ship Off the Japanese Coast

The "extent of number of personnel injuries is being determined," the 7th Fleet Public Affairs team said in a statement.

​Sputnik reported that the ship was sailing under its own power toward Japan at a pace of just three knots following the collision. The accident has caused some injuries, and at least three compartments of the Fitzgerald were flooding. 

One sailor had been airlifted from the stricken ship by a Japanese helicopter as part of a medevac procedure, the 7th Fleet said in a statement. Japan Coast Guard official Takeshi Aikawa said the one known wounded sailor suffered a head injury, but details of his or her condition are not yet known.

The ship just underwent $21 million in repairs and upgrades in February, according to Stars and Stripes. The Fitzgerald was part of the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group that has been engaged in training drills with the USS Carl Vinson First Carrier Strike Group ​near the Korean Peninsula along with crews from Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force. 

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