The bodies of multiple U.S. Navy sailors were found dead in the hull of a crippled destroyer damaged in a collision with a merchant ship Saturday, the military reports.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container vessel three times its size near Japan early Saturday morning, causing significant damage to the U.S. ship. As the ship was escorted back to port in Yokosuka, Japan, a massive search and rescue operation was launched to find seven missing American sailors.
Several U.S. naval vessels and aircraft, along with Japanese coast guard ships, assisted in the search.
“As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision this morning, the missing Sailors were located in the flooded berthing compartments,” the 7th Fleet Public Affairs Office said in a statement.
The bodies of the deceased are being taken to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, where they will be identified.
The families are being notified, and the names of those killed in the incident, which is still under investigation, will be released after all of the notifications have been sent out.
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