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Bodies of 7 missing US Navy sailors found inside damaged warship

Bodies of 7 missing US Navy sailors found inside damaged warship

The bodies of some of the seven U.S. sailors who went missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship near Japan have been recovered from flooded areas of their vessel, but an unknown number remain unaccounted for.

The fleet's commander, Vice Admiral Joseph P Aucoin, was on the pier together with many family members when the ship arrived, it said.

Aucoin declined to say what might be to blame for the accident, the cause of which is being investigated.

According to the Japan Coast Guard, the collision occurred about 100 kilometers southwest of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, and was first reported by the Philippine container vessel at around 2:25 a.m. local time on Saturday. Most of the more than 200 sailors aboard would have been asleep in their berths, some of which were reportedly flooded.

In the statement, Rear Adm. Charles Williams praised the "extraordinary courage of the Fitzgerald sailors who contained the flooding, stabilized the ship and sailed her back to Yokosuka despite the exceptionally trying circumstances".

He is in stable condition, the Navy said.

"The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this hard time".

Staffs stand near the U.S flag of damaged USS Fitzgerald seen at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo Sunday, June 18, 2017.

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None of the 20 crew members aboard the container ship, all Filipino, were injured, and the ship was not leaking oil, Nippon Yusen said.

Among the three injured sailors is the destroyer's commanding officer, Cmdr. "All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families".

Rescue crews had searched into the early hours on Sunday for the seven American sailors missing after the collision. "You will see the USS Fitzgerald back", Aucoin said.

Three people aboard the destroyer were medically evacuated, including Commander Bryce Benson, who was reportedly in a stable condition after being airlifted to the USA naval hospital at the Yokosuka base, the navy said. Two other crew members suffered cuts and bruises and were also flown out by helicopter. Others who were hurt were being assessed on the ship.

The Fitzgerald had limited propulsion after suffering damage on the right side below the water line and a USA defense official said there was flooding in three compartments. The JMSDF ships Ohnami, Hamagiri, and Enshu responded, alongside the Japan Coast Guard ships Izanami and Kano, which aided the crew in searching for the missing seven sailors. "Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance", Trump tweeted Saturday morning Washington time. The vessel is 505 feet long. The destroyer sustained damage to it's starboard side above and beyond the water line.

The water flow into compartments that were berthing areas for 116 of the ship's crew was "tremendous", he said, adding that "there wasn't a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea".

The reports then said that some of the U.S. personnel were injured and at least seven sailors were missing.

"We're going all out in the search to find these missing people. but we still haven't found any clues as to where they might be", a coastguard spokesman said.


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