US Navy Destroyer Crashes Into Merchant Ship Off the Japanese Coast

© NHK Damaged USS Fitzgerald
Damaged USS Fitzgerald - Sputnik International
A US Navy ship collided with a trade vessel in the early morning hours on June 17. The number of injured sailors has yet to be determined, according to the US Pacific Fleet Commander.

The "extent of personnel injuries" is still being investigated, a US Pacific Fleet spokesman said. The nature of the collision was "serious," according to CBS. 

According to the Japanese Coast Guard, the trading ship was a Philippine container vessel, the ACX Crystal, a 29,060 ton-vessel. 

Following the incident, US sailors had to call for help from the Japanese coast guard. 

The destroyer has started taking on water and saw flooding occur, Reuters reported. 

The collision occurred about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. 

UPDATE: The USS Fitzgerald is on its way to Yokosuka under its own power sailing at just three knots. Nevertheless, she is expected to dock within the next two hours, a US Navy spokesman said. Japanese TV reported that seven sailors had gone unaccounted for following the incident. 

USS Fitzgerald Crash - Sputnik International
Seven US Navy Sailors Unaccounted For in Wake of Crash Off Japan Coast

The Fitzgerald is an Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer first commissioned in 1995 and is named after William Charles Fitzgerald, a Vietnam war veteran. At any given moment, more than 60 ships, 200 aircraft, and 40,000 personnel are deployed as part of the US 7th Fleet. The USS Fitzgerald is generally based out of San Diego, California. 

The Fitzgerald has been operating in the Reagan Carrier Strike Group, according to US Naval Institute News, and recently completed training exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force on June 1. 

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