US Navy identifies all seven sailors killed in Japan collision

The crew were reported missing after Saturday's predawn collision, triggering a major US-Japanese search operation, with divers scouring damaged areas of the destroyer.

Published: 19th June 2017 06:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2017 12:06 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

TOKYO: The US Navy on Monday identified all seven sailors killed after their destroyer was partially flooded following a collision with a container ship off Japan's coast at the weekend, confirming their deaths for the first time.

The crew were reported missing after Saturday's predawn collision, triggering a major US-Japanese search operation, with divers scouring damaged areas of the destroyer. 

On Sunday, US authorities tacitly acknowledged there were no survivors as they ended the search, but declined to say how many bodies had been found until the families were notified. 

The 154-metre (500-foot) Fitzgerald -- commissioned in 1995 and deployed in the Iraq war in 2003 -- was pulled by a tugboat back to its base on Saturday in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo.

WATCH VIDEO:

 

The navy said the bodies of the missing crew were found by the divers in flooded sleeping quarters.

"The remains of seven sailors previously reported missing were located in flooded berthing compartments, after divers gained access to the spaces," it said, adding that the deceased sailors ranged in age from 19 to 37.

Several other US crew members were injured in the accident and had to be evacuated by air to hospital, including the vessel's commanding officer Bryce Benson.

The accident happened 56 nautical miles (104 kilometres) southwest of Yokosuka, in a busy shipping channel that is a gateway to major container ports in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama.

There have reportedly been several collisions involving large vessels in the area over the past five years.

The container ship, the 222-metre Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal, came into port with large scrapes on its bow, but none of its 20 crew were injured, Japan's coastguard said.

The accident is under investigation.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.