US Navy destroyer collides with vessel off Japanese coast, 7 sailors missing
"USS Fitzerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel June 17 about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka,Japan," the US Navy posted on its twitter page.
According to media reports, rescuers were searching for the missing sailors who were thought to have been thrown into the sea or possibly trapped inside damaged sections of the destroyer.
The reports quoted Japanese coast guard spokesman Yoshihito Nakamura as saying that none of the crew of the container ship was reported injured.
Footage from the Japanese TV network NHK showed Navy crew members working to pump water from flooded sections of the mid-right side of the USS Fitzgerald. The Navy's 7th Fleet said flooding was stabilized and sailors from the USS Dewey came aboard to assist in damage control.
The ship's captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was airlifted to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka and was in stable condition, the 7th Fleet said in a statement.
Two other crew suffered cuts and bruises and were evacuated, it said.
It was unclear how many others may have been hurt.