USS Fitzgerald: missing sailors found dead in flooded area of ship

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The bodies of some of the seven US navy sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off the east coast of Japan have been found.

US and Japanese ships and aircraft launched a huge air and sea search for the crew but “a number of bodies” were found on Sunday in the flooded quarters of the damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald, the US 7th fleet said in a statement.

“As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision, the missing sailors were located in the flooded berthing compartments,” it said.

“They are currently being transferred to naval hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified. The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this difficult time. The names of the sailors will be released after all notifications are made.”

The Fitzgerald, with the help of tugboats, had arrived back at its home port of Yokosuka naval base, south of Tokyo, on Saturday evening. The other vessel involved in the pre-dawn collision, the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal, berthed at Tokyo’s Oi wharf, where its crew was questioned by investigators.

Three people aboard the destroyer were medically evacuated, including Commander Bryce Benson, who was reportedly in a stable condition after being airlifted to the US naval hospital at the Yokosuka base, the navy said. The other two injured crew members were treated at the hospital for cuts and bruises.

The US 7th Fleet said the collision damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the ship’s radio room. Most of the more than 200 sailors aboard the Fitzgerald would have been asleep at the time of the incident…

Read more : The Guardian, 16.06.2017