US Navy Chief Orders Probe Into Pacific Fleet Increased Collisions

© AP Photo / Bullit MarquezThe U.S. Navy warship USS John McCain, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer. File photo
The U.S. Navy warship USS John McCain, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer. File photo - Sputnik International
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Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson has ordered a probe into recent collisions of US Navy vessels, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Monday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Monday, five sailors were injured after the McCain collided with the Alnic MC near the Malacca straits. Four sailors were taken to local hospitals and the injury of the fifth sailor did not require hospital assistance.

"I also fully support the chief of Naval operations, Adm. John Richardson’s efforts right now. He has put together a broader inquiry to look into these incidents," Mattis told reporters.

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The defense secretary said there is a separate investigation underway that would determine what happened to US destroyer John S. McCain, which is damaged after colliding with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore.

The collision is the second by a US ship with a civilian vessel in the Seventh Fleet area of operations this summer.

In June, seven sailors were killed when the US destroyer Fitzgerald hit a cargo ship off the coast of Japan.

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