U.S. Navy Destroyer Collides With Merchant Vessel Off Coast Of Japan

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The destroyer USS Fitzgerald, seen sailing in the Sea of Japan earlier this month. Kelsey L. Adams/U.S. Navy/Flickr hide caption

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Kelsey L. Adams/U.S. Navy/Flickr

The destroyer USS Fitzgerald, seen sailing in the Sea of Japan earlier this month.

Kelsey L. Adams/U.S. Navy/Flickr

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. Navy says one of its destroyers, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel off the coast of Japan. The collision with the container ship ACX Crystal took place around 2:30 a.m. Saturday local time.

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One injured sailor has been evacuated from the Fitzgerald, The Associated Press reports, while the Navy’s 7th Fleet says it is still determining the “number of personnel injuries” and the extent of structural damage to the vessel.

The Navy says the Japanese coast guard has been assisting the destroyer, which “suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline” that “resulted in some flooding.”

Aerial footage shot by Japanese broadcaster NHK appears to depict significant damage to the destroyer, which is now proceeding under its own power back to port in Yokosuka.

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“All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families,” Adm. John Richardson said in a statement.

The guided missile destroyer recently took part in a training exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, along with the aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan.

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