TOKYO, JUNE 17, 2017, The USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with a Philippine merchant vessel while operating off the coast of Japan and there have been injuries, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. Navy. The Japanese Coast Guard has arrived on the scene, about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka. Japanese broadcaster NHK reports that one person is injured and seven others unaccounted for on a U.S. Navy ship after it collided with a merchant vessel in waters off Japan.
NHK footage on Saturday morning showed a person in a stretcher being taken up to a helicopter from the deck of the USS Fitzgerald. The Navy said that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka,
Japan. A U.S. defense official said there is flooding in three compartments of the Fitzgerald. The U.S. 7th Fleet says on its Facebook page that it is working with the Japanese Coast Guard to conduct a medical evacuation for a sailor by helicopter, and that there are currently no reports of deaths.
Live footage shot from a helicopter Saturday morning by Japanese broadcaster NHK showed heavy damage to the mid-right side of the Navy ship, which appeared to be stationary in the water. People were standing on various parts of the deck.
The collision occured at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time on June 17.
Three compartments aboard the guided-missile destroyer are flooded, according to a Pentagon official.
“There is no danger of the ship sinking,” one official told Fox News.
There are plans to tow the US warship back to Yokosuka, Japan
home to a US Navy base.
Fitzgerald, a guided-missile destroyer, carries Tomahawk cruise missiles and missiles capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, part of the regions ballistic missile defense program.
The incident will be investigated.
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